In recent years, it seems funerals have become a gathering place for relatives that you hope to see again before the next funeral, but seldom do. This funeral was no exception and as I spoke with one of my cousins, she shared how her son was in a disturbing relationship with a mysterious woman who also seemed a bit rough around the edges. I felt this sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach, as if something wasn’t quite right. Who would have known that he would take his last breath the very next day after the funeral of my godfather? Sadly, he was only 29 years old.
Today I attended his funeral, but these circumstances were due to an untimely and unexpected death which left many unanswered questions. My heart grieved for my cousin’s loss. Remembering the words shared at my godfather’s funeral, I questioned how a mother could love like she has never been hurt… when the hurt runs so deep, like the devastation in losing a child? I hadn’t seen him in recent years, yet fondly remember him during his youth at family birthday parties and picnics. We weren’t Facebook friends but after learning of his possible anarchist views, I decided to check out his page.
He was no longer the little boy I remembered and my heart was heavy when I noticed the satanic tattoos of an upside down pentacle and the leviathan cross on his arm. If there was ever a time when you wish someone had a day to do over, this was it. What happened, became more than just a question of his physical fate… it became a deep spiritual concern. Ironically... his funeral fell on Friday the 13th, and as many shared, probably a date he would find amusing. And yet even more ironic was that the priest, who presided at the funeral had confirmed his entry into eternal rest in heaven due to his infant baptism. But honestly, I sadly was not so convinced.
What I am certain of is that God is a just God, despite the uncertainty of the fate of my cousin’s son. Our Heavenly Father is full of love and mercy despite one’s outward appearance and I know only He knows what’s truly inside a person’s heart and I can only hope that somewhere in this young man’s heart he had left room for Jesus. I’ve always been one to speak of God’s grace, love and mercy and frowned upon fire and brimstone preaching but I honestly found myself rethinking how we share the good news of God’s love. I understand the urgency of sharing the gospel message and the reality that despite one’s age… tomorrow is not guaranteed. Far better would it be to have the assurance of one’s salvation rather than to simply hope for it.
How does this impact the way we minister at Ex-witch Exodus? It certainly calls for examination and much prayer yet I’m not convinced that a “get saved now or spend eternity in hell” message would move the heart of the spiritual blind, or that a relationship based on fear would be long-lasting. If you’re reading this and you doubt or lack faith in God, I appeal to you to open your heart and mind and… give God a chance. This is not an ultimatum, a get right or face eternal damnation message but a heart-felt plea “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). Evidence reveals that tomorrow is not a given and the decisions you make today can really be the most important you’ve made in your entire lifetime and beyond. The body may turn to dust but the spirit lives on.
© By S.A. Tower, 2017