"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart."
This post comes out of my recent readings and experiences, coupled with the events of my mom's quick slide into death last week. If you've been alive for any length of time, you've wrestled with this question, posed by my sister. "When a dog is near death, we give it a pink fluid to drink, which kills it quickly. Shouldn't we be able to do that now?"
Seems a reasonable question, by human standards. My mom was weak with no chance for recovery; quickly her breathing grew strained, and the agony was apparent. My purpose here isn't to discuss morality or slippery slopes. My purpose is to think through this whole issue, in light of my mom's recent death, and my own inevitable mortality.
So, how does our finite, narrow perspective possibly square with the perspective of an eternal God that holds the entire universe-Earth, Milky Way and all-in the palm of His hand?
In light of the initial quote from Ecclesiastes, one purpose is to force us to come face to face with the fact that we all will die. I will die. You will die. Not likely to escape it. As my mom went from hospital, to nursing facility, to hospice, I thought through how I would respond. I even told my daughter that I wanted a room that has a window that you could look out of; and I'd want access to a laptop. Watching others struggle through sickness and death forces us to confront them head on.
In my own experience, pain and prolonged suffering force me to cry out to God, in hope for a time, or place where I am free of them. Ultimately, it is a cry for salvation, for God to deliver, and even, to bring us to the satisfaction of our hope-eternity in Heaven, in Christ's glorious presence.
Finally, one would hope that pain would be a window to cry out on behalf, not only of ourself, but for others who also are in pain. Potentially, it can bring us into a broad place where we pray for others who are themselves in hardship, brokeness and pain.
In the final analysis then, I understand the longing for the Pink Drink. Our momentary pain and longing however, "is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."