This thing that I do is strange business.
I work with people, praying for them, teaching them, helping them along towards the cross as much as they are willing to go. Then I pray for them some more.
I meet with them at their home or work. I know their kids and have seen all the pictures of all the grandchildren. I have heard their stories of how they cleared the land when they were young, again and again.
I have drank their weak tea and eaten their four years past date cookies that they have offered me in a spirit of hospitality and care. I have pet their shedding cats and their loud "jump up to lick my face" dogs.
We have shared life for ten years or more, shared our stories and faith.
And then, just when we've become occasionally more and sometimes less than friends, they go and die.
This is indeed a strange work that I do where my friends end up dying, the people I work with are dying, as are the people in the church I attend.
I don't know if that makes sense to you, but itÂ just kinda dawned on me today when I left the hospital. These people I care about and help and pray for and who have become my work and friends and church, are all headed through the same door marked death. Some now, and some later.
What a gyp.Â
Somehow, my work and church and many friendships have integrated into the same group of people. And that group of people is getting smaller.
This thing that I do is strange business indeed.