I’ve never prayed FOR someone to die…until yesterday. It feels weird to say that and admit it. I don’t know if it’s good that I have not (before yesterday). I don’t know if it’s good that now I have. I’m torn…
We are supposed to fear death…not pray for it. We are supposed to fight for life…fight for every last breath. We are supposed to pray for healing and get angry if it doesn’t come in the form that we want (anger is one of the stages of grief, you know…). We use phrases like,
“…finally gave up.”
“…taken from us.”
“…lost their battle.”
“…lost their life.”
All of those phrases are grounded in the negative perspective/negative outlook.
What if death isn’t so bad?
Trust me, I understand that dy-ing can be horrible…I’ve been watching it closely lately. I
also understand what it means to miss someone who has died and the painful expectation of what it will feel like to miss someone who is dying. Grief does not feel great.
However…I feel like grief and joy/peace are just opposite sides of the same coin. They can (and always do) come together. Anything that brings great joy and/or peace can also be one of the greatest causes of grief. I have experienced some of that in the last year. Also, on the other side of grief we can find great joy and peace. I have also experienced some of that in the past year. The trick is working through the grief and not dwelling in the grief. In my 43 years, I have been challenged to continue moving while in a season of grief because, just like Spring after a brutally hard Winter, joy and peace is always on the horizon. We just need to keep working through it…we need to keep moving forward. It is a process that is different for every person and every situation so we need to have grace, mercy, and patience for ourselves and others who are working through it. We also need to COMPASSIONATELY challenge those who are dwelling in it or hurting others in the midst of their own process. The best way to compassionately challenge others is to walk alongside them as they work through the grief, not by shouting instructions or “should’s” from the sideline of their process of grief.
My dad is dying. He is in hospice care. His time is close…closer than I would like it to be! Yesterday he whispered to me through his labored breath,
“Pray that tonight I get to go home. I am ready.”
So, I have been praying for my dad to get to go home…for my dad to be released, unleashed, set free…to finally be healed…to WIN his battle and GAIN his full life.
To be honest…we all are dying. And, none of us know how close we are. For some, it is just more obviously close than others.
It feels weird, but I do not fear death. Neither does my dad. We both welcome it. I will miss my dad. I already do miss him because the man in that bed is not the vibrant, larger-than-life, joy-filled man God transformed him into. You see, he wasn’t always that way. He used to be one of the most scary, hot-tempered men I knew. But God is great at molding, shaping, redeeming, and transforming a heart that is open and willing. My dad’s heart was willing and he was transformed many years ago. He’s now ready to be healed, set free, and go home.
Please pray with me that he gets to.
I reminded him that we all loved him and that we would all be okay.
I’m excited for him. He gets to meet Jesus face to face…
I told him to say “Hi” for me.