To live is Christ, to die is gain.
I have been thinking about this passage a lot the past several weeks and it was brought up today at Sean's memorial service. I have been very upset with myself these last several days because I can feel absolutely nothing but relief about Sean's passing. I am reliefed that he is not suffering anymore; I am reliefed that God has given a final answer about what will happen to Sean; I am reliefed that we have a direction now to help Sean's family through this painful loss; I am reliefed that Sean is home with Jesus. Sean has gained it all; true healing and freedom. And we most now live allowing Christ to live through us to remain in the world full of brokenness, pain, loss, and suffering.
As we talk about story and the Gospel and God's story these last several months throughout the church and pilgrim groups, I have been struck so deeply with the pain and suffering of Christ's story and all of our stories within the bigger God Story. I have been overwhelmed with the blackness and darkness all around me. It seems that I usually have a tougher shell. At times, I wish I was in a different profession where I do not hear horror stories, see damaged children, interact with damaged families several times a day. I know life on earth has always been sin filled and broken, but in the decade that I have been dedicated as a social servant it seems that things have gotten worse. I do not know if that is because we do not have the resources now or because people are reporting more things now. I have been at the bottom this week facing the pain of Samantha and her children lossing their husband and father, suicidal children that seem to have no hope, the system not working right at times, young ones more deeply damaged and sexually abused then I myself was or could fathom could happen, horrors happening across the world. I feel burdened by living on this earth and I feel in awe of the children that God takes home and understand what Paul says that to die is gain. But I have also come to understand what Paul says that to live is Christ, the only way I can walk in this earth, the only way I can help these children, the only way that I can serve my community and the families in it, the only way that I can do this work that God has set before me every day to do is to allow Christ to have it all and to gaze on Him for each moment and direction of what to do. It must be Christ that lives through me. It must be Him that holds me up. It must be Christ that takes the burden of the pain and suffer to make all things good in His story. There really is nothing else that can get us through each day. To live is Christ, to die is gain.