Thursday, November 9, 2017

End Of Our Road

We pass from this life to the next - into eternity - sometimes with little fanfare, but most of the time with a big send-off with loved ones remembering and being sorrowful.  Where did he/she go?    To God?   To heaven, wherever that may be?   So many questions with answers taken on faith.  That’s all we really have: faith and hope.  Here’s a story I occasionally tell at wakes.   

A long time ago there lived a little boy whose parents had died.   He was taken in by an aunt who raised him as her own child.  Years later after he had left his aunt, he received a letter telling him that she had a terminal illness, and from the tone of her letter, he knew she was afraid of death.

He wrote back to her and said, “It’s now 35 years since I was a little boy of six.  I was left all alone in the world.  You gave me a home and were a mother to me.

I’ve never forgotten the day when I and your servant perched high on a horse traveled 10 miles through the woods to your house.  But before we got there, night fell; it grew darker, and I was afraid.

He told me that when we came out of the woods, there would be a light shining in the window. When I saw the light and you at the door waiting for me, I knew he was right.  You wrapped your arms around me, gave me a hot supper and brought me to my new room where you heard me say my prayers. You sat and waited until I fell asleep.

Very soon God is going to send for you, and take you to a new home.  I’m trying to tell you that you need not be afraid of the summons or the strange journey or of the darkness of death.  God can be trusted.  God can be trusted to do as much for you as you did for me so many years ago.

At the end of the road you’ll find love and a welcome waiting.  And you’ll be safe in God’s care. I’m going to watch and pray for you until you are out of sight.  And I shall wait for the day when I make the same journey myself and find you waiting at the end of the road to greet me.”

We all eventually reach the end of our roads with many waiting to welcome us.  And I wager that when we struggle during those difficult times while we anticipate and prepare for death, those who love us watch and pray until we are out of sight and safe in God’s care.  

Deacon David Pierce

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