by Sim Lee
Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34b ESV
For those of us whose daily focus is on how we should best live our lives, talk of how best to die may sound strange, until cancer enters our lives.
When a bible study acquaintance of mine was informed abruptly of his imminent death [advanced pancreatic cancer], Everett's first thoughts were to fulfill a personal bucket list before passing.
His second thought, while facing three to six months to live, was to continue spending his time as he had throughout his life, ministering to others. He chose the latter.
As a church elder, Everett had comforted many a dying soul, but never while being one himself. Under his new circumstances, he continued to minister to the terminally ill, re-affirming their belief and confidence in our Lord Jesus, now sharing his new situation with them too.
Now he would engage them in mutual discussions of their hopes, fears, joys and regrets. It soon became apparent that in sharing their common circumstances, they were stronger together. The general mood of these folks and their families went from one of doubt and fear to one of enjoying the moment and feeling valued.
As Everett's energy waned, he even wrote about what he had learned while sharing his dying experience.
Instead of choosing to fulfill a personal bucket list, Everett chose to give what was left of himself to others.
He reassured his special cancer companions of the love, promises and provisions of Christ.
In return, their love and appreciation for his conversations had affirmed this dying man’s decision to "live his remaining days by loving others as he loved himself." Everett had made the far better choice.
Sim Lee is retired and living in NE Iowa. He loves all of God's creatures. Contact