Consider this… no matter what our faith tradition or belief system, life as we know it on earth is temporary, and eternity waits beyond what we see and touch. Just look at the recent photos from the Hubble Telescope of the vast expanses of space!
My husband had an interesting conversation the other day at the lumberyard. One of his coworkers mentioned a book he found in a forgotten box of relics in his mother’s home. The book was published in the 1890’s and contained accounts of end-of-life experiences from both people who claimed the Christian faith and from those who did not. The difference between the accounts of those who held a Christian faith and those who did not were astounding! Even well over a century ago, the difference was clear.
Of course, we could argue “that was then, this is now” – but have things changed, really? As a chaplain working in the areas of hospice care and hospital settings, I can say with certainty that the comparison still stands. Those who claim to have a faith in God through Christ have a far different outlook on death than those who do not. Quite naturally, most people would rather not go through the dying process that often accompanies old age or lengthy illnesses, who would? But Christians see death itself as a part of the journey. For us, eternity waits… just beyond the existence of this life. Many times, Christian patients would describe dreams or visions of heaven that brought peace and anticipation despite the decline they may have been suffering in the physical body. I often was asked “why doesn’t the Lord take me? I’m ready to go! why do I have to stay here like this?”