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Month: August, 2007

Death

25 August, 2007 (9:26pm) | Blog | No comments

Note: I do not pretend to know anything about death. No one close to me has ever died, thank God. This blog is just some thoughts I have about grief, and hope. Along with an aside about faith. If anything I say is irrelevant or false concerning this subject, please correct me.

death
(dĕth) n.
1. The act of dying; termination of life.
2. The state of being dead.
3. The cause of dying.
4. A manner of dying.

The dictionary doesn’t know a thing about death.

We as humans have an innate fear of the unknown. We don’t know what is going to happen when we die; whether it will be painful, or pleasant; conscious or ignorant; light or dark. Is there something waiting for us on the other side? Or will it be a void?

As Christians, we have a hope that the world does not have. An assurance of the unknown. We know that Christ has promised us an eternal life with him. And we have even more than just hope: we are actually able to look forward to departing from this world!

“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling.”
-2 Corinthians 5:1-2

Of course, we can’t go around killing ourselves just because we want to get to heaven. Our time on earth is short lived and we must strive to make the best of what God has given us.

“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
2 Corinthians 5:9-10

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
Philippians 1:27

Sufjan Stevens, in his album Come on and feel the Illinoise!, sings a song of a loved one who died from cancer of the bone. The song treats the event as, probably, the saddest thing that ever happened to him, but the music is almost joyous. Reminiscing about the detailed memories of the light on her shoulder blade, or running outside with her shirt tucked in, and her shoes untied, the singer gives these seamingly meaningless memories a sense of absolute meaning.

“In the morning, through the window shade
When the light pressed up against your shoulder blade
I could see what you were reading”
Casimir Pulaski Day, Sufjan Stevens

It is the ultimate love song between a man and woman, because she is dead. He has no reason to try to make the song romantic, because he isn’t singing to anyone. He is singing from his heart. Happiness, sadness, hope, and longing are some of the emotions he goes through. At the moment in the song where the news breaks that she has died, a chorus of horns break in, giving the song joy, and triumph.

Shouldn’t we grieve in the same way? Shouldn’t we be joyful when our beloved leave this world? On the other hand..

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”
Ezekiel 18:32

Should we be joyous? God doesn’t take pleasure in death, why should we? Death came upon man after the fall, and death shall be no more after Christ returns.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:4

Why do we have to die in the first place? Death was a part of the curse man brought upon himself by rebelling against God. But Christians, being washed by Christ’s blood and being new creations, are no longer under that curse. Every single time Jesus was in the presence of a dead person, he raised them from the dead. He didn’t accept death…

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
John 14:12

..why should we?

“Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!”
Philippians 4:1

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Santa Claus is coming to town!

13 August, 2007 (4:05am) | Blog | No comments

“Oh! You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I’m telling you why:”

When you where a little kid, did you ever stay up late at night lying in bed completely terrified? Many kids have. It’s something about the unknown that bothers us.

“Santa Claus is coming to town!”

We have to know what is around us, and we have to know that, if we fall asleep, nothing bad will happen.

“He’s making a list,
He’s checking it twice,
He’s gonna find out
who’s naughty or nice.”

When I was little, It seemed to be worse during the times that I had done something wrong and was trying to hide it. Like if I had broken something and hidden it, I always wanted to have it in my sight. That way I could know if anyone was going near my little disaster hiding behind the couch or under a rug or someplace.

“Santa Claus is coming to town!”

So laying in bed at night, not only did I feel that I wouldn’t be able to survive the night, I also had no idea who was snooping around the evidence and what they were going to find out. Somehow that just magnified the terror of the night.

“He sees you when you’re sleeping,
He knows when you’re awake.
He knows when you’ve been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!”

If I was hiding something in my room that I would get in trouble for I was faced with the dilemma of having a nightlight. It was dark, and I couldn’t keep an eye on my room to make sure nobody sneaked in and found my wrongdoings, but I didn’t want to have a nightlight because I was a “big boy” and “big boys” aren’t afraid of the dark, but it wasn’t that I was afraid of the dark, I was just worried about all my little schemes I had going on, so I could get away with a nightlight, right? If I had one, I could keep an eye on things, but then, so could other people, and who knows how good of a job I did hiding it..

“So…You better watch out,
You better not cry
You better not pout,
I’m telling you why.”

Maybe, if I knew for sure that no one was paying attention to me and my room, and that I would instantly wake up if someone came into my room, then I could let my self fall asleep..

“Santa Claus is coming to town.”

Who wrote that song anyway?

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