Who of us hasn’t wept at the loss of a life? We shed tears when someone dies, as we realize that we will not see them anymore, in this life. We will never know them again, as we had once known them, and this makes us dreadfully sad. I have cried these tears for my mother, and my father, and my brother, and my step-father, and for several friends, and even for some people I never knew personally but whose lives impacted me nevertheless. I suspect you are the same; having cried for those you know, as well as those you didn’t.
Jesus wept. Even he was sad at the death of his dear friend Lazarus. Death is horrible, even if you are God himself. And while we strive to make peace with death—somehow—convincing ourselves (possibly) of the naturalness of it, or appreciating it as the end of suffering, and the hope of rest and peace from pain, still, if we are honest with ourselves, and aren’t trying to convince anyone that we are doing okay, we likely will admit that we hate death. There is no detente between the living and their death; and no lasting peace-deals in this world between death and those we love. It is our mortal enemy, it always has been and always will be, forevermore. Most of us would agree that this is true, if we are honest about it, I think.
However, there is one who makes a claim that turns the power of death on its head. This same Jesus—the Christ or messiah—the savior who came to mankind, came to us all as The Life. This is his claim: he says he is the way, the truth and the life. He is life itself! He came to destroy death and to give us life eternal. Well, if so, where is this life? And why is there still death all around us?! I don’t see this life, and death continues to torment us.
But isn’t it so that the truest things, the realist things in life, often don’t start out visibly, but are rather, like an invisible seed, germinating below the ground, and out of sight? These things are hidden for a time, until the time is right, and then they spring upon us almost as if by magic! Every living thing starts out this way. In fact, there is no grain, or fruit that we can eat, that didn’t begin invisibly; and yet our material lives depend upon these. Seemingly non-existent at their beginning and yet, in due time, they are the very bread of life, without which we cannot sustain ourselves.
The Life waits to burst forth! Growing and growing within us and within this fallen world, the Life exists in all His truth, glory and reality. And He has brought with him the Kingdom of Life—still only barely perceptible, even for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, but just waiting for the moment when the time will be ripe, when Life will finally triumph completely over death.
And then, what use for these tears we shed? Then, there will be no more tears. But for now, we still shed them, when death asserts its terrible power. Today, I cried, which I haven’t done in some time. Death is always terrible, but willful death—murder—is more terrible still. Someone spoke the word—infanticide—to me today. Abortion—and even after birth—of a person, a human person, for certain reasons. And aside from all the arguments about ‘rights’, and all the nuances that confound us, and the extenuating circumstances that perplex and paralyze us, and the euphemisms that obscure the simplicity of the act; my body wanted to cry. Before I let myself think, or consider the reasons, I just felt the sadness of the death of a living creature, a human being even, so small and tender—invisible really, so that we hardly believe it is real, or that he/she really exists. But he/she is alive, they are all, each of them, a life that is real. And since it is better to feel the pain of the truth, than it is to hide the truth and numb ourselves from it—I let myself cry for a while.
Like so many other things in this life that start out invisibly—like the food we base our own lives upon—these humans start out so small, unseen and unheard, and yet, in time they become forces to be reckoned with! They become human beings, each one of them, made in the image and likeness of God Himself. We weep at the death of our loved ones who we cannot save. Death overtakes us all, until Jesus Christ finally puts an end to death. But do we have to keep crying also for the deaths of those who could be saved, even now?!
Can’t we put an end to the murder of invisible humans who are just waiting for a little more time to burst forth into view?!