That is the choice of the living



Years ago my brother-in-law was dying of cancer.  He was not a chap who took to incapacity with any enthusiasm.  A bad patient one would have called him.  He was not enamoured with his dying.  Never embraced his dying.  Never welcomed it.

Anyway …

One day – and with much logistical planning and family manpower – his wish to visit an old friend was fulfilled.  And as the afternoon went by peacefully – the two of them sitting side-by-side – one of the family said to another “Why did we bother?”

That after all this time and energy and effort – the two of them weren’t even speaking – they were just sitting there … “reading magazines!!”

And another (involved in making the visit happen) quietly replied:

“They are old friends – they don’t need to talk.”

– – – – – – – – – –

My teaching as a Christian was that these past three days were busy days not sad days.  That the deceased Son of God was busy visiting dead people – saving all those dead people who had died before the cross and all that – saving the ones who should have been saved throughout time before the cross – the ones who weren’t saved because there hadn’t been a cross – and now there was …?

Well Jesus was busy retro fitting saving.

As a Christian I accepted the teaching the same as I accepted Mum and Dad’s teaching when I was a child.  Might seem a little weird sometimes – but that’s how things are!

Mum and Dad know … Mum and Dad gave birth to me … Mum and Dad looked after me … I was their child … That’s just how things are …

So too with church.

– – – – – – – – – –

This Easter Sunday I am not going to church.

We have a family day.  A day of the living.  A day living the memories of those no longer living.  Because love conquers all including death.

The weather is superb and a bbq is deffo happening this afternoon.  Then tomorrow another family day.  A breakfast with extended family celebrating the adoption of wee Alfie this growing number of years ago.  Then a family Easter dinner on Monday rather than today.  Every extended family has in-laws.

We will talk.  And giggle.  And be silent.  Some will watch.  Others will entertain.  Some will be “engaged”.  Others “disengaged”.  That is the choice of the living.  That is the choice of family.

Family who do not need much.

Not much of a reason to gather together.  Not much of a reason to share a table.  Or a garden.  Or a silence.

Because added together over the whole – each brings more silence than noise.

– – – – – – – – – –

Why are we so scared of silence?  Why do we need it with “busy-ness”?  Why this teaching of The Son of God having to fill these past three days retro fitting saving?

Is God not capable of all that without doing a thing? 

Or is he a God like us – scared of silence – afraid of inactivity – working through the same issues we work through?

Today I am happy to sit in silence with my God.  Content not to speculate about these past three days.  At peace with my relationship not dependent on “doing God” as I was taught.

– – – – – – – – – –

My beautifully flawed-human brother-in-law had no need for words that afternoon.  No need for filling the silence-business of dying-living.


That is my Easter living this year.



6 thoughts on “That is the choice of the living

  1. Pingback: This Easter Sunday … | Church Set Free

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