I See Dead People

“I see dead people,” a line from “Sixth Sense” and probably one of the most memorable ever, and also a fitting phrase to ponder in the vicinity of Memorial Day.

1) In class last night I was going to lead in prayer and asked if anyone had any requests, Rachel reminded me it was Memorial Day. Maybe it was on her mind because her fiancé is in the military. Every free nation’s history is punctuated with wars that secured that freedom, and graves to hold those whose sacrifices made it all possible. Memorial day is a day when I see dead people.

2) Death is unavoidable, but for most Americans viewing the process of death and dying is avoidable. We send people to Senior communities to age and to hospitals to die. In the old days families would gather in a one room log cabin and watch their loved ones pass away; today few of us have ever seen a person breath their last breath.

Six years ago Kathy and I moved back to Seattle with a commitment to be part of the aging process of our family members. Since then her mother Pat died, as did her grandmother Agnes and my mother Esther. In that time two young people from our church died, Matt Montzingo and Arminda Eyre.. One of my business mentors, RA Harlan died last Friday of a degenerative brain disease. It has been sobering to be part of so much death and dying, but I also wonder if humans can truly understand and appreciate life if they are unaffected by the death of one’s they love. Because of the past six years, “I see dead people,’ and while there has been sorrow, there has also been a reawakening to life.

3) “Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters,” is about seeking spiritual life and in it I reference the various metaphors used about discovering the spiritual in different traditions. I was blind and now I see, I was sick and I am well, I was asleep and am now awake, lost and now found, I was unaware and now aware.

The Christian tradition uses those and others, one of which is the Apostle Paul’s, “you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience¢â‚¬¦” When the Apostle Paul looked around he saw “dead people walking.”

Of all the dead we see, those who have died for the purpose of securing freedom, those whose physical life has drawn to a close, and this third category, the spiritually dead, it is the third group we are least aware of, and it is the only group we can actually still assist on their journey. Politicians see them as votes, businesses see them as consumers, we call them family, friends, neighbors, celebrities, but until they pierce through the darkness and become aware and alive to the higher and more real plane of spiritual existence, they are dead. “I see dead people” all around me. Do you? What are we to do about it?

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in May 30, 2005 by | No Comments »

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