Not all of us will see our death. True, some will see it and experience a brief and intense moment, of fear, of impact, of explosion, of searing light or heat, and maybe some pain. Then, darkness, again for a brief moment, but by then time will have ended for us.
If we are fortunate, we will die in the company of loved ones, fully conscious in our passing, feeling the final tender touch of our relatives on this side, hearing their farewells, intermingled with the first touch of our relatives on that side, hearing their reassuring words. Light will yield to light.
Each of us is a visible between two invisibles. We are creatures not of choice but of chance, but only on the human side. Very little is in our control, very small knowledge within our grasp. Some of us hop, skip and jump through life, others hobble, plod along, warily creeping, hoping to escape, but from what?
The gift of life can only be imagined by those who have not risked death, but not appreciated. For them the unseen is not proved by the seen, as the poet says, but remains an unattainable but unwanted mystery. Indifference clothes the soul that seeks not the unmade Maker.
Again, they are foxes who cannot eat the wild grapes, and so call them sour. Unable or unwilling, nine healed lepers head off without giving thanks for their purification. And one lying paralysed for thirty-eight years betrays the Healer of his soul and body to His enemies.
Chronos drains away, moment by moment, like lean cows devouring fat, like poor ears of corn consuming rich, and the gainsayers still tread unknowingly the slaughterhouse floor, their feet wading in their own blood. Man in his prosperity forfeits intelligence. He is one with the cattle doomed to slaughter. (Psalm 49:19-20 Jerusalem Bible)
Originally posted August 10, 2010