Just a little over a week ago I had to say goodby to one of my closest friends. She came into my life as a wandering stray, and you could tell she was severely abused. My little four-legged friend took over five months before she would even allow me to touch her. But over time we gained each others confidence and started a inseparable bond and friendship that lasted for more than a decade; whereever I was, she was right there with me, right up to the end.
As many of you have experienced, it's a very strange and heart-wrenching experience, in calling the vet and scheduling the death of a friend you hold very dear. This is always a very disturbing and emotional thing that many of us have had to deal with at some point in time, for me it was almost like losing a loved one.
This seems to parallel life, in the brevity and ending of life, and the need of meaningful relationships, and when we do breathe our last, nothing much matters except the relationships left behind. Why is this need for relationship so ingrained into the heart? Why is it relationships can be so difficult? Why does life have to have an ending? It seems even for the best, life can be hard, and for many we seem to struggle in relating with others as well as our personal selves in understanding life and the conflicts from within our own hearts, but yet the desire for relationships are so desperately needed.
We also all have our life's starting point within the vast time line, of the beginning of time to the future ending of time, it's like a speck within the universe that has a beginning but ever so brief, then the inescapable end comes as well. Many of us seem to fight this plight of life's dilemma, we don't want any part of this and we indulge ourselves in anything that keeps our mind from dealing with this reality. I myself wonder at times why life seems to be so messy, it’s like I understand it but then again I don't, it seems at times there are more questions than there are answers.
In life's manual for living, (the Bible), if you're to look in the very back and look up “Life” it gives you places you can find that tells you who made us, why we are here, how to find meaning in life, and why life is brief but can be fullfilling, and a hope beyond all life's confusion, for the here and the now, as well as the future, which is timeless and never ending.
In a time where no one seems to have a fix on life's reason or purpose, the news is bleak and hopeless and in some cases, the church seems not much different and can't answer life's questions. Where or who is it you can trust or turn to? Look up “Life” in life's manual and see if you find something there.
Deni Shepard — Franklin, N.C.