It seems as if our society
when aware of Death
does not deal with it directly
seeking to place it
in the corner of the attic.
But Death will not be forgotten
Death rears its head
in the most, seemingly,
because we are death-deniers
because we are well-trained at looking the other way
because we are cowards
are not prepared for death
to become our companion,
are not prepared for death to leave the third person behind
as in “The concept of death scares me,”
and become first person, like
“I hate you death, and your works.”
Because of our denial of Death
we have no way to fight it.
We are not prepared for a battle.
We simply believe we must
accept Death as our abusive companion.
The final word.
whether thought about in normal times,
or primarily in times of crisis (for most)
lead us to this conclusion too.
After all, how can one fight Death?
So we baptize Death and call it God.
“It is God’s will,” we say
“If it be your will,” we pray
“Let go and let God,” we counsel,
wishing for healing
like an older child on Christmas Eve,
wishing for a glimpse of Santa,
knowing better than to maintain that foolish hope.
“It is unrealistic,” we say
seems to comfort us to chalk up the supposed inevitable conclusion
as the foregone will of God,
any testament to a different approach
Yet I read of Jacob,
who would not let go until God blessed him.
I read of Hezekiah,
who refused to accept the word of Death as final,
turning over in the most basic, most seemingly weak form of protest,
saying, “Remember me? I love you.”
Those names are far from isolated in the annals of the Scriptures.
I read, in a different encounter with death,
of an early church,
refusing to let other’s hatred determine their course of action
and in the face of great suffering
losing brothers and sisters right and left
continuing to choose love and truth,
to fight for a different way
with no weapon other than their example of sacrifice and selfless service.
These people shout at me loudest now,
when Hannah’s life hangs in the balance.
Who will you listen to, Nathan?
“Let go and let God”?
until the final word is given,
the dirty kind,
tooth and nail,
There is no pride too essential to lose,
no good name more important
than fighting for the value of a life.
I will kill you,
old cowardly theology,
old cynical perspective on life.
Death, you may win battles from time to time,
but you will not win this war,
because I vow not to quit.