She stood placidly in the carriage as the train wheezed past several stations, carrying us to our individual destinations. From the corner of my eye, I couldn’t help but notice there was something about her. She looked like she’d been through a lot and her stand wasn’t quite as firm or as confident. Her back was hunched ever so slightly, giving a hint of a defeated look. Her hair or what was left of it was the colour of silver, with a few bald patches vying for attention amongst the now countable strands of hair left. Her face could tell a story with the visible wrinkles etched across it, but yet there was something seemingly meek about it.
I couldn’t help but wonder what she must have looked like in her prime. Long luscious locks of blonde hair cascading down her slender back, smooth flawless skin, with a taut yet pretty face and confident pose. Truth is, I have no clue who this woman is, her story or what she may have been through. Yet something about her stirred my thoughts to the inevitable that we all must face one day – growing old and eventually passing beyond this life.
There are many things in life that are inevitable:
Many of them we try to fight or control with whatever means available to us. In some cases, we actually do come out winners…or so we think. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end that way will lead somewhere he may not have envisioned in his quest to fight the inevitable. Case in point – evade taxes and find yourself in jail like Wesley Snipes or Lauren Hill. Inject Botox, expand it, nip it, tuck it, suck it or pull it but it will inevitably sag, wobble, wrinkle and head down south! That’s just a fact of life. If you evade taxes, the tax-man is sure to find you one day; the best pro-age cream or hyaluronic acid will keep wrinkles at bay only for so long; but death…death is the one thing that no man till today – except Jesus Christ – has been able to conquer. It is the silent shadow that bids its time, waiting till it has it’s moments in the spotlight to remind man of the frailty of life.
Why are we so afraid of death? Is it the fear of the unknown when we pass from here or is it the fear of how we’ll exit this place? Or could it be the fear of feeling like we haven’t lived life to the fullest? Are there things we still want to accomplish or places we haven’t been, that perhaps we’re on the periphery of but we’re just not there yet? What is it about death that silences even the most outspoken men? What is it that causes this unsettling feeling within the recesses of our hearts?
I am convinced and have come to the conclusion that the thought of death is meant not to instil fear but to birth life. By this I mean that it ought to propel us into living a meaningful life; a life that is rich (not just materially) in every way, but one that is filled with love not just for loved ones but for all. Imagine if we could get past our differences, greed and selfishness and truly love people? What would the world look like? I imagine it would be a more colourful and joyful place to live. A woman whom I very much respect and admire by the name of Bobbie Houston truly believes in the human’s ability to “colour our world with love”. She speaks of the feminine heart of everyday women (and men) making a difference in the lives of people all around them through caring and reaching out. I love that, Colour Your World! Splash out in rich tones and hues of royal purple, the cool of blue and the fiery passion of red! 🙂
The way I see it death is not the problem, fear is. Fear will cripple you from living an abundant life if you let it in through your front door. It will sit down comfortably on your best couch and make itself right at home, even commanding you to do illogical things because you have given it your place of authority. “For we have not been given a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, sound mind and love”.
If we can get past our fear of the inevitable, perhaps we can truly begin to live. I will leave you with this, if you knew how many days of your life you had left to live, how would it change the way you currently live? Would you live more purposefully and intently, or would you live precariously? And what would that look like?
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