The past week has been a wretched one for many people with whom in one way or another I have a certain connection, even if such bond only encompasses the relationship of one human being to another. There have come Hurricane Ike and its taking of lives, and such savage property destruction that it will strike a toll numbering into the multiplied billions of dollars; the catastrophic train accident in the Los Angeles area–worst train crash in the history of the area–;the untimely death of Justin Jones, a young man of 30 years old–the son of my friend, Dayna. Death is awful–repugnant and unrepentant.
But in finality death never wins. At the last, death dies.
For after death, we all “small and great, stand before God;” And at that final judgment, “…death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Rev. 20: 12 (portions) and 14
I am fond of the poetry of John Donne, so much so that I recall when I first read his poem Death. I’m in Crestline today, and this afternoon I sat in a comfortable chair and read again these beautiful words. I hope they will comfort you at this moment. I wish too, for both John Donne’s words and John the Revelator’s words to lance your soul with conviction and with spiritual examination…as they have mine.
“Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so:
For those whom thou think’st thou doest overthrow Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me.
From Rest and Sleep, which by thy picture be, Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow;
And soonest our best men with thee do go–Rest of their bones and souls’ delivery!
Thou’rst slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, and dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well And better than thy stroke. Why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!