Sunday, July 23, 2006

Losing Each Other

People don't get replaced

Bruce Springsteen is an essential caretaker of the American sound. The characters in his songs reflect the hope, despair and anxiety one feels living the American experience. Springsteen recently performed on VH1 Storytellers where he played old favorites and songs from his album, "Devils and Dust". The performance was so incredible that I had to buy the dvd. The most moving song was from Devils and Dust entitled, "Jesus Was An Only Son." He proceeded to explain the lyrics after first playing the song with only a piano and a harmonica. Towards the end of the song is line, "...there's lost that can never be replaced, a destination that can never be reached. Light you'll never find in another's face, a sea who distance cannot be breached." Springsteen explains this line by saying, "...We lose each other and people don't get replaced."

In recent months many of my friends have family members who are seriously sick with cancer and other diseases. That line, "People don't get replaced," is a harsh truth that my friends will soon have to deal with. It's so hard to know what to pray for. Healing? Mercy? Acceptance? Faith? I believe there is power in prayer, but I also believe no amount of prayer can prevent the death that awaits all of us. Why has death come for my friend's family? Why does cancer leave some and return to others? I have no answers for such questions. But I do know, as Springsteen reminds me, that my friend's loss can never be replaced. Despite time and space, the loss of their family member will always remain. Nothing or nobody will be able to fill the void created by death.

Some say we'll me again in heaven, but sometimes I wonder if that's true. Lately I've come to believe that the coming resurrection will wipe away any piece of this life. I think the new bodies we'll receive will look nothing like our current body. I believe I will not remember my past life. Not even the disciples recognized Jesus after the resurrection. Some might be sad at such an idea, but will it really matter in the eternal presence of God. This belief has me even more grateful of the health of my family and to enjoy every minute I have now because I'm no sure I'll have an opportunity when the kingdom comes in its fullness. This week I encourage you to hold your family closer before there is nobody to hold, sit down to dinner together more often before there is nobody to eat with, and learn to forgive faster before there is nobody to angry with. Make sure to enjoy you the family you've gained before the time comes when we lose each other.


Coming Soon: Conflicted Existence


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