I caught a glimpse of something shiny... possibly silver in color. As my feet hesitantly walked closer to the casket, I realized that it was a coffee can filled with beautiful flowers, slightly wilted. To the right of me lay mounds of wood shavings - fresh from recent assembly of the box that would be his final earthly dwelling.   The smell of fresh varnish mixed with the aroma of the flowers and stale sweat.

Miskito prayers, Miskito hymns and a pastor that thought enough of the gringos in attendance to give a synopsis in Spanish.   Grace.

I sat down, closed my eyes and prayed in my language.  Opening my eyes, I saw half-clothed children playing, the lagoon in the background,  work continuing while death speaks.   Sixteen years old.   The victim of a single stab wound to the lower stomach after a fight over a girl.  Tragedy.  An orphan, raised by a barrio of mothers, grandmothers and a special female doctor who provided family.

My ears heard the sound of wailing, something mournful and solitary.  A distant relative in great pain over the untimely death of one she hadn't seen in many years.

For me, it was a taste of something surreal.   When I got home, Alex asked if it was like funerals back in the US.   Uh... not even close.   One thing, however, was the exact same;   a person breathed a final breath and headed to an eternal destiny, already etched in stone.   Whether an elaborate service with a $10,000 coffin or a simple one with a hand-made, newly varnished pine box, the conclusion was the same.   A life ended and a new one began in either in the eternal presence of God or in eternal separation.

Profound truth.  One that is absolutely not lost on me.    Choose today whom you will serve... as for me and mine, we will serve the Lord.   Live today like there is no tomorrow... because there may just not be one.


Very poignant and thought-provoking posts, my friend.
Araratacres said…
surreal and real. I am trying to imagine, but I'm sure I don't even come close to doing your current life justice in my thoughts and daydreaming. Love you my friend.

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