Friday, January 26, 2018

Walking home

Imagine this: An elderly woman, her life now counted in months, weeks, perhaps only days. She is distressed and questioning what will happen at the end of her days--will there be nothing, will she see God, will she ever be with her beloved husband who departed before her?

Despite spending a lifetime following her faith, she now doubts. That seems to me to be a cruel conclusion to a life spent observing her religion as closely as she could.

So a priest comes to see her to discuss her concerns. She is old school, she hangs on his every word. He is a priest she has known for years and she trusts him to interpret God's plan for her. She tells him she wonders if God exists, she fears death because it could simply be the end of everything. What if there's no life after death? What if she never sees her husband again, never sees her parents, or all those she loved who went before her? The promises of Scripture ring hollow and, in her advanced age, she can't remember what it was that once gave her hope.

And the priest tells her that he feels the same way, that he has the same questions. I imagine some words of comfort, reassurance came after he told her that he shares her fears. He probably said, " . . . but the Lord has told us not to fear . . ."

She only heard what he said before the "but" statement. All she absorbed is that the priest, the one with the direct line to God, the one whose faith surely must never waiver, that the priest has fears too.

So she, who can be outrageously funny and talkative and the life of the party, is now despondent and fearful. This is not the way it should be. I want to see her at peace, assured of her salvation, resting in the anticipation of an eternity spent in perfect bliss. She deserves to walk home in peace, basking in love.