David Bowie…Glen Frey…Natalie Cole…Alan Rickman…Dan Haggerty…Abe Vigoda…Lawrence Phillips…Barney Hall…Kitty Kallen… You might recognize many of these names if you’re old enough. Even younger folks will recognize several of them.
If you watch the news closely, especially the obituaries, you’ll know one thing they have in common. They all died within the last several weeks (even days in some cases). Another thing they have in common is they were all celebrities.
It’s kind of amazing how we think some people should never die. We get caught by surprise when they do. This is particularly true of our celebrities.
We grew up idolizing them (or, at least, admiring them a lot). When they’re gone, it’s almost unbelievable. Sometimes, it can be really hard to accept.
“I was shocked to hear of David Bowie’s death.”
Then there are those close to us. Friends. Family. People we’ve know all, or most, of our lives. We don’t think they’re going to die. It sneaks up on us.
I was shocked to hear of David Bowie’s death. I didn’t know he had cancer, so it caught me by surprise. He’s just one example of that happening.
Several years ago, my wife and I were on vacation in Maui. We weren’t there long when we received a call that my Dad had suffered a heart attack.
“I just figured he’d be okay. He wasn’t.”
I’ve known many people who have experienced heart attacks, so I just figured he would be okay. He wasn’t.
We immediately made arrangements and flew home. He was in a coma for a week or so, and he finally passed. I never got to talk to him again. I surely didn’t expect that.
Why don’t we expect these things to happen? Why do we think they’ll never happen to us? People die every day…lots of people. We’re still shocked when it happens to someone we know or, at least, know a lot about.
I guess it would be morbid to expect death to be waiting around the corner. Yet everybody knows that we (and everyone we know) will die someday. Still, we seldom expect that day to be in the near future.
At least a couple of times each year, I head back to my hometown and have breakfast with some of my old high school buddies. The last time I did that, we had a conversation surrounding this topic.
One of these years, our number will shrink.
We acknowledged that, one of these years, our number would begin to shrink. At one of these get-togethers, sooner or later, one of us will be gone. It might even be me.
As one who believes Jesus is Lord, I’d like to think it’s no big deal. But it is. Even Jesus thought so.
When his good friend Lazarus died, he raised him from the dead. In fact, he raised others from the dead as well. Why bother?
He bothered because he felt the pain of loss. He had compassion on others who did as well. Death is the great equalizer—even for Jesus.
But Jesus defeated death. He gives us resurrection, victory, and hope. Thanks be to God!