It's been almost a month since my grandmother, Bebe, passed away. And it's safe to say that today, I am a different person than I was a month ago because of what death does.
Death surprises. No matter how long it takes to get to the moment, death only takes a moment. And that brevity forces me to face the brevity of my life. And facing the brevity of life makes me angry. Because I don't want to live for a short time. I want to live for a very long time.
Death tricks. It convinces me that if I can live for a very long time then there's a greater chance for my life to have meaning. It says I shouldn't be afraid of the end coming too soon, but the end coming before I can do something worth remembering.
Death lies. It tells me that that my grandmother's obituary needed more accomplishments, more accolades, and more anything. It tells me that the achievements and accolades and clips I stack up are what matter. It tells me my life and my name are what I should live for.
Death whispers, "If your life can't be great, then you're wasting it."
But Life tells a different story altogether.
Life persists. Despite generations of death and disease and war, life continues. There is something about the human body that fights to live, even in its last moments. There is something about humanity that continues to push forward toward eternity, because life wasn't made to end.
Life serves. Unlike death that greedily tells me to live for me, life tells me to live for anyone but me. It tells me that true joy comes when I give my life away to other people.
Life loves. Life reminds me that no matter what I do, it is who I am that matters. And who I am and what I do have been fully and forever separated by the work of Life defeating Death in Jesus.
And if I forget that truth, Life whispers gently to me, "You may be sleeping, but I am here to wake you up."