These two weeks life has been very heavy, without any particular drama, yet feeling awful. That’s when I noticed something… In the times of my sorrow and grief my mind always wanders back to Jack’s daughter. I never understood why sometimes my thoughts would drift to her; I always just pushed it out of my mind and assumed that story was done, because it was. It wasn’t that I actively felt sad about the story, or actively thought about it, it was just something that just lingered, silent and tucked away. But sharing with my friend today, a lot of what has always been subconsciously avoided has surfaced!
In my old co-ed, multigenerational, small group(in Taiwan), with my brother, we’d open with prayer request and sharing. There was a story that I was following amidst this sharing time, was of a family. A man named Jack, who used to be part of YWAM or some missions organization,’s daughter was sick, both of whom I did not know. She was terminally ill and only had a few months or weeks remaining. At first, my heart was hard, and I kind of brushed over it like any other time I hear about faithful death coming for people I don’t know. I prayed for them and that was that. As the weeks continued she was dying, and I didn’t think much of it either.
–And then she died.
My Brother: This weekend I was at the wake… I don’t know Jack that well or his daughter too much… But hearing her story of her last moments sharing the gospel with her friends, her teachers, and sharing what God has done… I was very moved.
That simple sentence… When he finished I just stared at him.(PRO TIP: If you cry during worship or over anything where people can see you and you do not want to be seen, easiest thing to do is to pretend it’s not happening. And then nonchalantly wipe them away at the most opportune time, if you do it too fast or frantically you will attract attention. If you are going to weepingly sob, this technique does not work. )
She was probably 12-14, I thought of a bunch of awkward adorable kids, huddled around a pale sickly girl… In her last moments giving them the greatest gift she’s ever received, witnessing to God’s glory in her life, when it’s about to end… I thought about the Jack I never met, who could never walk her down the aisle, who would comparably always think about her when he saw a woman that’d be the same age as her in the future. I thought about the way she must’ve shared…saying to her Christian friends and her family, not to cry, cause they’ll be together again. I thought about all her younger siblings, never forgetting her and carrying her death with them for the rest of their lives.
What was this feeling…so deep in me… Slowly tears filled my eyes and I wiped them off my face coolly… until it finally hit. My brother looked at me and I looked at him with a scrunched up face… I said, “I can’t…stop. ” and I covered my face and wept in front of everyone in my small-group. He put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed.
Fast forward to today…I spent a good ten minutes or so, to cry over this. There are so many reasons that this is sad to me, but one that it is not. If to live is Christ and to die is gain, and Paul would choose death(Jesus) over life, it’s only logical to assume our physical death is a mercy.