Most Christian pastors reference John 14: 1-3 at funerals. Let now your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and recieve you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also.
That is comforting to all those who are struggling with the grief of death…but many struggle in the discomfort of daily life–especially the aged and those dealing with pain.
My husband’s grandmother was a woman of great faith. She lived until she was ninety-nine and spent some years in a nursing home due to physical ailments that rendered her care at home impossible. Many times, she would remark about people of her age and circumstances asking, “Why am I still here?”
Nana would find a suitable response to their question but answered it for herself once when we were visiting.
“All I can do is pray. I begin each day asking God’s blessing from the eldest in the family on down to the youngest. After all, I have plenty of time sitting here to pray.”
And pray she did.
When times of trouble hit the family (like a divorce or illness) many would seek to excuse informing her as they ‘didn’t want to worry Nana’. This made her angry. “How am I supposed to pray about something when I know nothing about it?”she’d ask.
To me, Nana exemplified the reality of 2 Corinthians 4:8 & 9-We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
Life has this habit of throwing us curve balls. Oh, it is all well and good to say we must be happy in the circumstances in which we find ourselves–but that isn’t always possible. Sometimes, we find it hard to come to that point. Sometimes, we are like that picture of the cat holding on to a pole with nothing but a few claws. We are ‘barely hanging’; we are dragging onward brusing ourselves on rocks that appear as boulders with sand under our fingernails.
We are not up to feeling joyful.
In fact, we are scarcely able to appreciate being in the state we are in.
Why are they here?
Those souls on the last path of their journey from cancer or other illnesses that seem to render them worthless?
Perhaps, because they have glimpsed the true meaning of life’s journey and are sharing it in a way that is hard for us to see? Perhaps, because they have more time to pray for us; to share memories with us that we have forgotten; to see the value in one more sunrise or sunset. Much like the heroine in THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN, “I/They ‘ain’t down yet.”
Why am I here?
Perhaps, because we have yet to understand the true beauty of one extra moment until we witness the ones in our life who realizethat they are on borrowed time…