When I was going through my cancer scare, a friend of mine asked me to pray for her friend who had just been told that his leukemia was terminal. And I didn’t know what to pray. The thought of my own dying was, I think, still to close to the matter. If I were, indeed, terminal, I thought, for what would I pray? For what would I want others to pray?
After heading out of church one Sunday with a sudden, bright knowledge that I was healed, I began to understand what was important about last rites and what was needed in all of our prayers for the dying. It isn’t enough to tidy things up before one dies and then leave everything to God’s mercy. The part about leaving everything in God’s merciful hands is certainly sufficient, but the beautiful healing in that is not only the rightness of it and the sense of peace that it can bring – but also the joy.
What will it be like to be dead? Does this question seem dark and morbid to you, raising up fear? It does a little to me, but, perhaps that is instinctive, since it goes against nature to want to experience being dead. However, as people of faith, it is not a scary question to ask. For, we do not believe that death is the end of our lives. Our bodies will no longer be able to hold onto life, will die and decay back into the earth – but the life that is let go continues. Our souls, which had animated our bodies, are of spirit and therefore they are immortal and cannot die. So… what happens after our lungs stop breathing, our hearts stop beating, and our brains stop firing signals? What will life be like then? Continue reading