Just last night my auntie phoned to say one of her colleagues had died suddenly. I had known the family a little, my sister was friendly with the daughter so we have met them quite a bit. There was just the one child, so she has been left with just a dad.
When you hear something like that, I think sadness and emotion takes over. Then, pray pray pray. Something that gets me there is I don't think the family were Christians, so when it comes to the question of heaven or hell, I really don't know and it's quite doubtful. So when you consider that, it's hard to know what to think.
It finally ocurred to me that maybe God intended this as a wake-up call that life is too short. Maybe we need to reach out to the rest of the community more, help more people get to know God. I find doing that quite difficult, so then it was "How do we do that without making a fool of ourselves?" In Me by Casting Crowns helps a bit on that. "I'll go but I cannot go alone, cause I know I'm nothing on my own. But the power of Christ in me makes me strong ... Cause I'll never get by living on my own ability".
I was thinking about other deaths I've known, thinking how this affected me differently. I think only once before have I known someone personally die. But certainly never anyone young, or fairly young, anyway. And it certainly wasn't expected- maybe if you know it's likely to happen, then it can be easier to deal with, I don't know. And lastly, I've never known anyone die who I've had any doubt about whether they were saved or not. That's the hardest, when you're brought up to know that hell is a reality (a solemn thing, as our preacher would say). Recently I've been trying to focus on the positive things about Christianity, rather than the negatives. But there are times when you realise it's necessary to think about it sometimes.
About five years ago at a church service, Arthur Pollard said "my name's written in the book of life and someday I'll be there in heaven". He was there just two years later. So ... death comes sooner than you think. When you hear news like this, nothing else seems important anymore. All throughout the day I'd been making a mental list of people needing prayers, as there were quite a few, but unfortunately something big like this completely takes over and well, everyone else was kinda sidelined.
I never know how to finish posts, so all I can say now is to anyone not saved reading this, please think about it, and those who are, maybe it's time to reach out to people more. I hope to try to do that myself.