Dealing with death
Years ago I was in the kitchen making dinner for my family thinking about a question Stefani had asked me. “Which do you prefer, being a pastor or a chaplain?” I replied, “A chaplain.” She said, “But you work with death!” I had thought about that for a few days and then realized all pastors, counselors, chaplains, or missionaries work with death.
David said he was conceived into sin by his mother ( Psalm 51: 5) and the Bible says the wages of sin is death. The sentence of death does not wait till a child is born. Going through training at Virginia Baptist Hospital, I learned to relate to parents of stillbirth, ectopic, and neonatal death and help families who lost a child grieve the loss.
Mankind is destined to die
Man begins to die from conception and whether we live a few hours or many years, the final verdict is death. In hospice patients and their families, they know from the doctor the prognosis is grim but the rest of mankind rejects in their minds their future deaths. However, for twenty-six years in pastoral ministry the other form of death was from those in the pews. This may sound strange until we see what James says:
“If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”(James 2: 16-18 NIV)