Sunday, July 13, 2003


My friend Kelley is watching her mother die. Her mom, Gail, has had repeated bouts with cancer and now there is nothing more that can be done. Doctors say she will die within the next two weeks.

Kelley has gone her entire life without losing someone truly close to her so this is the first time she's had to confront the end of life from the front row. It's hard. Very hard. For the past year, Kelley has dealt with little else and now she will spend these next two weeks at her mother's side, waiting for the inevitable and trying to find some way to deny it.

Amy and I spent last night with our friends John and Denise. They have had to face the realities of death too often and are also struggling. John and Denise have quickly tried to get on with their lives following the death of their son less than two months ago but they acknowledge their facade of strength has many cracks.

They need more time. More patience. More prayers.

The Psalmist talks about being "entangled in the cords of death." That's what is happening to these friends of mine. They are not dying, but their lives are snarled in death's shadow.

There are no words capable of easing their heaving heartbreak so we will borrow from death's own gameplan to try to provide comfort. Amy and I will wrap ourselves around these friends who have been consumed by the deaths of others. We will embrace and embrangle them in the grip of God's love and hopefully, in time, extricate them from some small part of their pain.

Psalm 119:50
My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.