Alone But Not Alone
A frequent reminder of where we live, St. James Place, is the appearance of a white rose outside the dining venues. Affixed to the vase is the name of a resident: “In Memory of …”
I suppose we should be getting used to this by now, but we have not. I hope we never do. In a community with an average age of 85, death is an all too frequent occurrence. We have known many of these, casually or closely. One particularly beloved one passed away this past Thursday. Henry Ramos resided down our hall. He was a frequent dinner companion and a faithful attendee of our weekly Bible study. The cause of death, as I understand, was complications from prostate cancer. Those of us who knew Henry well suspect an underlying cause: loneliness.
Henry’s wife, Lupe, preceded him in death two years ago. He never got over her loss. Despite our attempts to cheer and support him, Henry continued to pine Lupe’s loss to him. Toward the end, he spoke more and more often of her and wished to “go” so he could join her in heaven. I am told that Henry did not suffer as death approached, and died with a smile on his face.
Henry’s loneliness illustrates a condition found among many people. They feel as if they are all alone in the world with no one who cares for them, who loves them, and whom they can love. Within our Christian tradition, there is a cure for such a malady.
David reminded me of this in his evening prayers, earlier this week. He quoted the Apostle Paul from his letter to the Romans (Chapter 8, verses 31–39). The climax to this passionate passage comes in verses 28–29: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
As days, weeks, months of confinement and loneliness press in around us during this COVID-19 crisis, we must never forget the promise that God’s love in Christ Jesus is always with us, and we are inseparable from this infinite love.
Offered by the Rev. Dr. Julius “Tip” Tipton
Our devotionals are going out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, with an occasional lagniappe issue. Please look for these congregation devotionals in your email box at about 6:45 a.m.