My friend Steve did a funeral last week. The man was well into his 80’s. He died alone in his apartment and he was not discovered until the smell became overwhelming for nearby tenants. Other than Steve and some leaders from his church, no one else showed up for the service. As far as could be determined he had no friends or family. I live in Denver, it’s a big city and there are lots of people. How does a person end up completely alone?
This is the season of Easter. Jesus came to bring us life. Living and dying alone hardly sounds like life. It sounds more like a living hell.
I remember as a kid hearing a poem about footprints in the sand. It talks about Jesus walking with us through all the ups and downs of life. It ends with Jesus saying, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.” I have always been moved by the idea of Jesus being present – no matter what.
Did this man sense Jesus’ presence when he died? I don’t know. What I do know is that Christians have been called to be Jesus’ representatives right here, right now. There is no evidence that any of Jesus’ representatives were present as this man died.
I am still struggling with what all this means.
I am convinced that no one should have to die alone.