Death: A friend of Life
I was watching a video about a guy who is a basketball phenom and got diagnosed with stomach cancer out of the blue. He chose to keep playing and aggressively pursue treatment as well.
I bursted out into tears listening to his story and I do not fully even understand why. First of all, I have prayed to God to give me tears in the past because I rarely cry. I am very emotional but I rarely cry.
I was sobbing uncontrollably for a few minutes alone in front of my computer while I am supposed to be working.
I am Will Smith. I am also Chris Rock. I am the guy with a butt of jokes and the guy at the butt end of these jokes too. I am the Chris Rock writing those jokes and spewing it out at myself. I am the Will Smith that is tired and has no sustainable outlet to release the excrete and toxins that can be found in the butt of jokes.
I think this guy’s story just punctured my release valve. My dad is battling cancer. He is doing so well and this guy’s story reminds me that I ought to be on my knees; thankful and praying because it is not normal for folks with stage 4 cancer to be alive and getting healthier.
I am also reminded that even though I am always dealing with one injury or the other, I am still able to waltz around the basketball court and enjoy feeling of competition, victory and contributing immensely to it.
Instead of gratitude, I cast my mind back to the days in college when I was the best player on the soccer field. When I led my team to what we call a Turkey Bowl. I remember how I took that moment for granted and expected to be back the next year only to suffer a freak accident that has never truly healed.
I remember that my injury history was tied to that freak accident. I think of all the ways I could have avoided that game that day. I think of the fact that I was playing basketball not even soccer my first love.
The absurd thing is that I also think about the fact that I was on Christian Service when the injury occurred. A part of me questions God. God, I think, If you know how much I love this game, why did you punish me by allowing me to get injured while I was trying to serve you and spread the good news?!
I think today, God answered me twice in one moment.
He answered my prayer for tears, to feel, to cry, to feel empathy.
He reminded me that it's all a gift. Life whatever form is a gift. Moments, however fleeting are a gift.
… Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? — Isaiah 45:9
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? — Romands 9:21
Death is not a curse. It is not a punishment. Death is not an enemy. It is not the loss. Death is not the end.
Death is just a language. A language God uses to communicate His Sovereignty. Death is the spiritual police that provides balance. If I encounter it when I have not yet lived, she is a foe to maneuver. If I live without fear of her role; then I embrace her visits whether she comes for me or my friend.
Today, death brought to my doorstep, a letter of remembrance and it began with these words:
“I will be back for you, and I will send other reminders when I take those you love and those you do not even know.”
… Live while the air is easy to swallow.