John T. Catrett, III
Chaplain at AllCare Hospice
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
~ Robert Frost
Robert Frost knew about life. He lived it for a long time, but that’s not what he meant in this quote. He experienced life. As a sensitive human being we can experience the highs and the lows of living an extensive meaningful existence. In a recent book that I read the main character said to a sweet little lady, “Life’s a gamble, honey. The only guarantee is that nobody gets out alive.” And this is true from the humanistic non-believer stand point, but as a believer we have a radical point of view that offers an abundance of hope, comfort and strength. Longevity does offer a wide array of experiences of life that can bring us either closer to the Lord, or drive us away from His presence if one so chooses.
Devastating things happen to all of us at one time or another in our lifetime and how we respond to these experiences tell a lot about our faith, and outlook on life. The demoralizing 3 D’s have struck pretty close to this chaplain’s life. Divorce, death and dreams disintegrating before my very eyes have occurred.
The very worst was the death of the lady who gave me life—my precious mother! At the funeral I didn’t fall apart at least not outwardly, but inside I was a total mess. Church family, neighbors, friends and my brothers and sisters were a blessing. The outpouring of love flowed our way at the funeral. Finally, alone at last I was able to cry and pour out my heart to God in pray and tears. Weeping from a hurting heart is healthy, but it is also an exhausting and humbling experience.
But guess what? Life went on. I thought for sure that everything would stop and stand still. People would have stop going to work, stop shopping, and stop visiting each other. Cars would all be frozen up. Time would have stood still. But none of that happened. The only thing that stopped was that for a year I did not sing in the shower, one of my favorite things. The music froze in my chest. After the first anniversary of her death, the joy of the Lord re-entered my heart and I was able to sing again.
It’s still hard to realize that my wonderful mother is gone, but guess what? Life goes on!