There’s lots of things I love about being alive; football, coffee, kissing my wife, watching a film at the cinema, harmonies. Lots and lots.
But there’s something I really hate about life.
It’s not the most highbrow viewing, but I saw the final minutes of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy this week.
It tackled a subject familiar to hospital shows, familiar to our screens. Familiar to you, to me, to us, to all of us.
Having watched eight series of 24, where Jack Bauer kills more people than I can count, I’m used to seeing death on my screen. Watching the news, I’m used to seeing death on my screen. Doctors in Grey’s Anatomy are used to seeing death on their wards. Doctors in Birmingham like Ruth are used to seeing death on their wards.
Rarer is seeing it as it really is. Not a passing moment in 24-episodes of entertainment. Not the tragic yet common occurrence for someone working a hospital. Not the nameless, foreign, faceless faces in a disaster on the news I’m scared to really think about. But as it really is. When the someone is your someone. This is death and death to the full. Like when this successful, sees-death-every-day surgeon is confronted with the body of her husband.
I’ve not experienced much death in my 25 years; two grandmothers and my uncle who I dearly loved. Dearly love. I’m deeply thankful for my relative ignorance in this area. I am not in a position to speak about this subject. I’m not pretending to be. I don’t know its depth, its pains. What I know is more than enough for me. I don’t know it fully.
But I will.
Perhaps you know it. Perhaps you don’t. But you will. It will be a subject familiar to you. To me. To us. To all of us.
Cross the seas, cross the ages, cross genders, politics, religions, classes, sexual preferences and each one will know – now or one day – the reality of unadulterated loss. History reveals death to have a 100% conversion rate. The New Testament puts it bluntly: “People are destined to die”.
We cannot beat it. We cannot escape it. We cannot fix it. We cannot avoid it. And it hurts.
And that’s what I hate about life. Death.
I want an answer. I want a solution.
No-one has found one.
Not Einstein. Not Muhammad. Not Ghandi. Not Hitler. Not Steve Jobs. Not Bin Ladan. Not Princess Diana. Not Hayley in Corrie. Not my Nan. Or my Gran. Or my Uncle. Not you. Not me. Not us. Not any of us.
I long for someone to buck the trend. To take on the enemy and to beat him. I want a death-defeater.
“They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus…the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”