Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Ebb and Flow of Life

My racquetball game got interrupted today. A police officer was on his way to the Y where I was playing to get me to accompany him to make a death notification - one of my roles as a chaplain in public safety.

Often when someone has died suddenly, unexpectedly or violently (as was this case), next of kin, if they are in another location, are notified by their local police who have been contacted by law enforcement at the scene of the death. Telling someone, even a stranger, such news is always sad. That is is 3 days before Christmas even magnifies the pain.

Thankfully, however, death is only one end of our existence. At the other end of the scale is birth, and as making a death notification is painful, receiving a birth announcement is joyous.

While we were tracking down the next of kin I received a phone call from a close friend that her daughter had just given birth to their first grandchild! Her joy was in stark contrast to the misson I was undertaking at the time.

That's life. The Bible's Job understood more clearly than most when he said about God, "He gives and takes away. Blessed be His name."