Day by day, I am watching my father, who is 90--and who I believe is slowly dying--clinging to life... and I wonder if people who have no faith are the ones who fight the hardest to keep on living. He has proudly told me, many times, that he does not believe in God.
Not that it matters in the ultimate scheme of things, but he has no quality of life whatsoever. It is a terrible and long ordeal for him to get up and dressed in the morning with lots of help from my mother... he eats, but very little... he struggles to walk to the bathroom and get up off the toilet afterward... my mother has to wipe him off because he can't do it himself... then he sleeps until it's time to eat again... he goes to bed as early as possible in the evening. He won't--or can't--let go.
If I didn't have Jesus in my life, right beside me, loving me, comforting me, supporting me--my constant companion as I go through the day, I think I would probably be the same way. For my father, life is all he has, and existence is all he values.
I feel differently. I long to see Jesus face-to-face, and I can't imagine struggling so hard against death, like my father is. At night as I pray, I tell Jesus how much I long for Him... how much I want to embrace Him, to see His face. I know I am not living as holy a life as I want to, as I know He wants me to, but I trust in His mercy, because He knows I am trying as best I can. Yes, often failing, but trying because I love Him so much. He made me the way I am, complete with all my faults: He knows me as no one else does, but He loves me anyway... and I trust in that love.
I think when the time comes, I will let go very easily. I wish my father could do the same, because it is heartbreaking to watch.
Oh dear Lord! I pray tonight for all the people who do not believe in You, that somehow they will receive the grace to open their hearts to You, to know that You are there, and that You love them as no one else can--and that they will be humble enough to accept that love! +