Outside the Walls: The Great Equalizer

“I am not in control.”

My father came to this realization as he fought cancer during his last 10 months on earth. Up to that point, he seemed to be in pretty good control of his life. 

Death has a way of reminding all of us of our great need for hope.

You are never ready for your father to die. Something dies with him. A confidant to call on when making a tough decision is no longer available. A protector to defend you against those who may attack you is no longer a call away. A leader to guide you in times of crisis goes silent. Above all else, a sense of boyhood dies with him as you pick up the responsibility for your children and grandchildren.

Death is the great equalizer. It puts all of us on equal playing ground whether we are young or old, black or white, rich or poor. All of us are on a slow march toward death, regardless of our status, power or financial stability. Death brings finality that cannot be undone. It will happen to you, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. It cannot be fought against with medicine, and doctors have not found a cure for it. 

And we deserve it. All people are not good, as Luke Bryan tries to convince us in his country song. Our sin is killing us. It is robbing your neighbors of life. It is stealing joy from your co-workers. It is hijacking your friends’ lives. Sin leads to death.

My father was no exception. I had the great honor of sharing his faith in Jesus at his funeral. It prompted my friend Tommy to ask me to lunch to talk about his own faith. We had coached together and become friends. He was a solid family man and a respected highway patrolman. However, after listening to the gospel, he realized Jesus needed to be in control of his life. We had a great next year as he placed his faith in Jesus and was baptized. We met every week, and I heard stories of how he was sharing his faith with his co-workers and family.

Tommy crossed over from death to life. 

During my father’s last week, he told everyone who came into our home that Jesus was in control. People would try to change the subject and talk about other things, but he was focused on that one thought. Impending death brings an urgency to leave nothing unsaid to those you love.

You have less time now than you had before you started reading this article. Let that urgency drive you to share hope with every life.

Death does not have to be the end. It could be just the beginning.