by Stan Mitchell
“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Carol gazed at her father’s face in repose. How peaceful he looked! The struggle was over, the pain alleviated. Whatever Dad felt now, wherever he felt it, he was no longer doing so in that shell, the body that was once so strong and capable of so many things.
What happens when you die?
Does existence cease? Is the result of death annihilation? Does consciousness end abruptly? Does the clock stop ticking? Are you completely gone?
She looked at his face again, and marveled at the calm confidence it reflected. He hadn’t feared death. He had spoken of his love for her and her kids, certainly, and he had said he would miss them, but he was not afraid to die. The only reason he had waited at all was for her. He looked forward to passing away – no, passing through, graduating on – to whatever was on the other side.
“How could he do it? How could he face man’s greatest terror so calmly? What did he know that the rest of us do not,” she wondered?
Then the thought came to her. He had no insider’s knowledge; he had a believer’s faith! It wasn’t a question of what he knew on the other side, but of who he knew. Someone he knew and loved dearly waited for him there, and he had nothing to fear, everything to gain.