There are times and seasons in life, and my community is in a season of death and waiting for death. Since Christmas we have lost four long-time members of our congregation (including a daughter and mother within days of each other).  There have been deaths in church members’ families in other places, and we have been laboring in prayer with the Hayners as Steve approaches the end of this life. I have also been walking through the valley of the shadow of Alzheimer’s disease with my own family as my Father continues to decline.

This week when we got word that Steve’s death was imminent on the same day that yet another church member died, one of my colleagues wrote “I feel like this day may crack under the weight of eternity.”

As I lay awake processing all of this, a fragment of an old gospel song floated up out of my Baptist childhood: “where could I go but to the Lord?”  I was amazed on googleing it to find that it is connected with Elvis. There is even a copy of The King’s home movies floating around on the internet accompanied by his singing this song!  I laughed at the thought and that cheered me up a little (thanks Elvis.)

Where could I go, where could I go, seeking a refuge for my soul,

Needing a friend to help me in the end, where could I go but to the Lord?

Beyond reason, beyond my ability to make any emotional sense at all out of the weight of death that is pressing in on us, when every door closes, I am so thankful that there is a place to go.

It is a season of death, and also of comfort and eternal life.  Thanks be to God.