I was visiting with an old friend two weeks ago and went to see his father who is dying from cancer. Cancer is such a dreadful disease and so many things are linked to the causes. This man smoked most of his life so smoking is the probable and logical cause. Something that struck me is the addiction to cigarettes. This friend and I walked around his yard reminiscing about the days of our youth and talking about the slow dying moments of his father. I was astonished that in the twenty minutes outside he had smoked two cigarettes. One would think with his father lying on his deathbed he would consider quitting and I am sure it has run through his mind but the cigarette has him under its control.
The final draw of death is so final and I find it unusual. I stared the man in the face, What do you say to a dying man? How are you doing? This seems not appropriate for the situation. I told my friend, because he was grieving in hard way, that as Christians we have to believe in the Resurrection. God is loving and merciful. We have to pray and stay focused on Christ. Do not get bitter in death if you start, then ask God to give you the grace to stay from despair. God is love and is a just God. Our life on this earth is a test and no matter how popular or rich or poor you are, it is our life and love and works and obedience to God that will matter most. Pray without ceasing.