I have been in the ministry of the church for 38 years. I love being a pastor, but something I can never get used to are the deaths of deeply loved friends and church members.
It is a holy moment to stand at the bedside of someone who is close to death. It is a Godly privilege to try to offer words of comfort to a grieving family. It is a humbling experience to know how much I need God’s strength at a time like this.
But so often when I leave a home or hospital and walk to my car, tears are in my eyes. At a time like that, I can’t help but think about so many godly saints who have gone this way before, and how much I miss them. I think of my parent’s death, and how much I miss them. I think about God’s holy presence during this time of grief for the family, and all the difference that the Comforter can make at a time like this.
I have been doing this a long time, but I can never get used to this part of the ministry. The wound is always fresh.
One of my favorite movies is “Forrest Gump.” Towards the end of the movie, Forrest visited the grave of his close friend, Jenny, and said, “Mamma always said, ‘Dying is a part of life.’ But I sure wish it wasn’t.”
I feel the same way, Forrest, I really do.