Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Seeds of change

Yesterday in hospice orientation we talked about the last hours of life. Talking about the final hours brought back recollections of the many people who I had the privilege to know during their dying process, and whose last hours and moments I shared. These have been holy and sacred experiences. We so often think of death as final, or as some step to a "final reward" as Christians. Since working with the dying, my perspective has broadened and my theology has changed. Death is really a transition to something we cannot imagine. God is surely there on the "other side" - and I believe that many who have been judged unworthy will be there as well. The lesson from Isaiah this past Sunday told us that "God's ways are above our ways." To me, that means we really limit God with our limited imaginations. We develop theology and rules, then stamp them with God's approval and begin to believe that we have clearly named God. Yet - God's ways are above our ways, and we cannot begin to fathom the mystery of that!! So, I like to believe that death is similar to the death we see every year in the earth cycle. I took this picture of the milkweed pod last fall. It's dead, but look at those seeds!! Those seeds represent life and will breed more milkweed pods in the spring. Our death has to be something like that - our physical bodies have died, but there's so much more to who we are. And, in the love and mystery of God - I believe that even though something ends, something new begins. None of us knows for sure what that something new is, but I believe from my work with the dying that there truly is something more that defies logic and brings peace and hope to those who are dying.

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