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When life ends

August 5, 2012
Jerry Waterman, Marshalltown , Times-Republican

Recently, we were called to the hospital to be support for a family who lost their father. John Thompson was a member of our congregation. There are no clear-cut rules on how to support someone grieving so I decided just to hang in the background, until someone summoned. In the next hour, family came lending their support - some were crying, some were wondering what happened; since he had recently been in good health. Death leaves its mark on the deceased and John was no different. Two very young boys came in and curiously stared at their great-grandfather. The youngest, peering ever so slowly around his grandmother's leg, was not going to be shut out when siblings tried to block his way. He gently moved to a better viewing place. I would love to know what was on his mind. For a brief moment, he looked at John and that was all he needed - I suppose, his questions will follow later. At his age; I was not allowed to see my grandparents in death - not even at their funeral. Death leaves pallor because life is no longer present. I want to believe that the departure of our soul leaves that pasty appearance. The body cannot function without the soul - yes, I know, blood gives the healthy appearance but the soul is the object God retrieves at death - it tells the truth of all John did, or did not do, for God. The Bible says God is the giver and the taker of our lives - he owns all life because he made it. For a brief moment, I had spiritual agony for anyone who rejects salvation - they will have a terrible shock at their death. They don't realize that Satan is not a compassionate being; he is the master of violence. My mind wanders to the wasted time and efforts, as the unredeemed worship false gods. How can anyone look at John, who just entered into eternity, and not thank God for his creation? Life is an amazing gift. Scripture says that we should hold ourselves up to the light of Christ - somehow we should reflect his countenance. Later, at Church, we said our final goodbyes - we gave thanks for the life that lived, loved, fought for America and, at 65 years of age, fought to save the life of someone in distress. Protect your spirit - offer it to God.



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