Friday, November 7, 2008

There is much meaning in the death of young people

My life as I now know is it is only because God has seized me. I've been allowed to know the greatness of Jesus' love on the cross. He died for my sins the death I ought to have died so that I can now live for God.
But God has also used the death of someone else to lead me on the path of life. Through the death a 17 year old I realized that my life was worthless unless lived for God. The first funeral of my life was for a young woman who'd just celebrated her 17th birthday. I was her age and it left me profoundly changed.

Where would I be today if it weren't for the speeding, drunk driver who killed Mikaela on a warm July evening? I'm thankful for the experience of her death, because I shudder to think how I might have wasted my life elsewhere. That I today serve God is by God's grace, that I was able to spend three years on the Doulos is by God's grace that summer evening.

These memories came back to me today because of a conversation I had with Y*, a girl in my class. I was reading a book and she asked if it was the Bible. It wasn't, it's the Confessions of Augustine I replied. This was the start of a conversation that allowed me to discover the hopelessness of my classmate's life. Her mother is a practicing Catholic and she also used to be, she explained. But when she was 17, her best friend was killed in an accident. They were
driving a scooter together and a driver clipped their bike. With a struggle, her friend managed to regain balance, but then hit a post on the side of the road and died on the spot. Y* survived the accident but attempted suicide which caused her to fall into a coma for three weeks. Since then, she knows she'll die when her time has come but doesn't see the need to believe in a God. They were both 17 years old as I was, but our reactions were very different. Y* was turned away from God and I was thrown into his arms.

There is much purpose in the death of our young people. I pray that Y* would see Jesus and choose joy rather than meaningless misery. I don't know who said this, but it is not a tragedy to die. The tragedy is to die and not be ready.

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