Friday, February 13, 2004

The Sting of Death

Lately, it seems that grief has been all around me. Maybe I might describe it as DEATH (in true Terry Pratchett form) has been hanging around way too long, and it is time I told him to either get on with it, or find someone else to haunt.

Last night, I watched The Pianist This is a great film, although it may be difficult for some to watch, as DEATH does play a major role. In the midst of the ugliness of Warsaw during WW II, beauty and joy prevail; not undoing the horror, but rather enduring it, even consuming it, and transforming it.

Today, two people came to see me regarding DEATH's visit to their families. In the midst of their grief, I found much joy. Their words were saturated with love, and the depth of their sorrow was a testimony to the wonderful life that they mourned.

I am choosing to honor this grief, and even enter into it with those walking through it right now. We are each yoked to one another, if we recognize it or not. The loss of another makes my world less as well. But, at the same time, I am not going to allow DEATH to have a free hand in this world. There are aspects of this life where he can only rule if we choose to give him that power.

One of these areas is hunger. There is no reason for anyone on this planet to die of starvation. There is enough food produced. We have the means of transporting it. We have avenues of global communication that can relay the specific needs. Yet, each year, millions die.

Here are a few stats from Bread for the World. 6 million children under the age of 5 die every year because of hunger. Surely, the human race can do better than that?

My intention is not to put a guilt trip on anyone. It is to encourage everyone to explore ways to stop these unnecessary deaths. Here is one way to make a start. By clicking on a link at The Hunger Site, you can help feed the hungry at no personal expense.

When we have done what we can do, and trusted God for the rest, death may remain hovering about, but no longer holds us in thrall, nor requires capitalization.

A family is headed in to discuss the baptism of their newborn child. Life goes on.


No man is an Island, entire of it selfe; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
John Donne

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