Once you live long enough you have the tragedy of loss strike whether it’s within the bonds of your family, friends, or those who are in your 3-foot circle, ones whom you see and interact with weekly, those whom you share a different sort of bond with, kind of like family in a way just without actual blood relation.
Sunday morning came with the news that a friend and colleague had died suddenly in a tragic accident. He was in his young twenties which seems cruel in so many ways.
This isn’t the first time tragedy has struck a little too close to home for my comfort nor will it be the last I’m sure.
Sunday morning felt eerily similar to the September morning I woke to the news that my sweet friend Leighton had died in a car wreck the night before. That September day and this past Sunday were both filled with a swirl of phone calls and text messages, shock, disbelief, sadness, grief, and yet an overarching, undeniable, palpably strong hope.
It’s strange and also tragically ironic that we work in the emergency department where we encounter death every day.
But in that context, death always effects other people, not us, not our people.
So when it is one of our own, it’s striking and sobering.
Death doesn’t come softly or gently. It comes with a forceful blow to the gut, one that leaves your head spinning, mind racing, and heart pounding.
Death has an abrupt way of making us sit a little straighter, listen a little closer, lean in and pay attention.
There’s no pill to pop, no magic verse to flip to and read when death sweeps in.
But I am reminded so surely every time death invades our nice a tidy lives that this hope we have as an anchor for our souls is a hope both sure and steadfast. (Hebrews 6:19)
While our hearts may mourn and our souls know a deep grief, we do not despair.
Because of the redeeming work that love accomplished on the cross of Christ, we have hope.
We have hope because death is not the end.
We have a hope that tethers our wandering and grieving hearts.
We have a hope that is as secure as an anchor.
We have a hope that is sure and steadfast when nothing else in the world is.
We have a hope that holds.
We have a hope that will hold us and carry us until we too are home at last.
‘Teach us to realize the brevity of life that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’ Psalm 90:12