The Strange Necessity of Death by Parker J. Cole

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The entirety of this post came to me this morning while I was in the shower around 7:30ish. You may be thinking why would she be thinking about Death so early? I don’t know. Since childhood, Death has been a constant refrain in my mind for one reason or another. My mother and father always told me I was trying to kill them for many years. Well, not really KILL them but I often asked about how things would be after they die.

Go figure.

At any rate, this post is a stepping point from another blog post I saw on SpeculativeFaith.com where one of the bloggers mentioned how a lot of speculative fiction on TV tries to get rid of death or overthrow death. Characters are suddenly brought back by some means, whether supernaturally or artificially enhanced. This tendency to eradicate death in our fiction has some repercussions in real life some of us may not be aware. We may possible forget the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.

Death however, in the context of our sinful nature, is a strange necessity. Death does things nothing else quite on earth can do.

Death changes things. Change is a part of life. Without it, things stagnate. Stagnation breeds contempt and limits creativity. Now, I’m not referring to the cycle of life as people develop and grow in the normal course of human development. Without death, things don’t change. Would anyone still want to be fighting a war with Hitler or Stalin at the helm? When God told Adam and Eve they were going to die, it changed the whole of paradise to them. God kicked them out the garden in order to save them. As I understand it, had they stayed in the Garden, they would have lived eternal in sinful bodies that could never be reconciled to the Lord. The way death changes things can be summed in a few points:

  • Death is the great equalizer. No matter your social standing, Death will come to you unless the good Lord decides to rapture us. Death doesn’t care about your station in life, your wealth, your knowledge or lack thereof. Death is the great enemy of us all, no matter who we are. Is it any wonder why the Bible calls it the King of Terrors?
  • Death forces us to look at our mortality and our lives. Since death doesn’t care who we are, when a loved one or someone we know dies, we’re forced to take a step back and really think about our lives. Are we really going to be stuck in a dead end job for the rest of our lives? Are we really going to stay in a toxic relationship? Are we really going to let our dreams slip by? What are we waiting for? Jesus said himself, “I come that you may have LIFE and have LIFE more abundantly.” In the context of this scripture, he is talking about eternal life and a life with our Father. But when we allow Christ to lead us, we have greater life in this world until He calls us home.
  • Death can cause us to mature. When a loved one dies, especially if we’ve depended on them, the ripping away of the rock in our lives can be the stepping stone to maturity. Please understand: I’m not saying we should seek death in order to grow mature. That’s not it whatsoever. My granny always tells me you have to keep moving no matter what.
  • When my grandfather died, she’d been married to him for a number of years. She could have collapsed from not having her life partner with her but she forged a new path for herself, wrapped in her grandchildren. I’ll never forget how proud I was when at 72 years old, she received her high school diploma. She was probably the oldest graduate there but I assure you, she was one of the happiest. Some people succumb to the crushing permanence of separation Death causes. You can succumb or you can use it to develop and grow. Do you know why? Psalms 23 “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. For thou art with me.” So in reality, it’s not Death that matures us, it’s Christ who does it because we are never alone.
  • Death ends suffering. It’s pretty self-explanatory. After all the questions of, “God, why do we have to suffer,” Death ends those by taking us or our loved ones. Like it or not, death will end suffering on this side of eternity. I’m not saying it’s going to make sense or we’re going to understand it. I’m not saying we should rush to make hasty decisions when loved ones are between the grip of life and death. But Death is a necessity to end suffering – it’s as simple and complicated as that.
  • Death will bring us closer to the Lord. This is probably the best part of the post that is at most an inadequate response to questions and thoughts about Death. The apostle Paul looked forward to being with the Lord. He said, ‘To live is Christ, and to die is to gain.” He understood Death brought us to the Lord—we who believe in Him. In fact, once we recognize how much more we have to gain in the presence of God, we can joyfully say, “Death where is your sting. Grave, where is your victory?” With Christ, Death does not and cannot steal our joy.

I’m not sure if I explained myself but I wanted to share my thoughts. Feel free to correct me or expand where I am wrong. I’ll leave your with the lyric of this song When I see Jesus Amen– When I see Jesus Amen– All of my troubles will be over, when I see Jesus Amen

Then the strange necessity of Death will be no more.

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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  1. My mother has preached for many years a sermon she calls “so what”, the point of it being to have sick people, whether it’s from a cold or something more serious, face death with that attitude. She always says so many people fear death that they cannot get well or live what happy life they’ve been given. Your words reminded me of this. Good post!

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