I love people. I should qualify that with, "not all people," let's be honest. I ought to, I just don't. In fact it's a chore to love some people.
There is a small group of people who I will never have a problem loving - those who sacrifice. Whether for me or for others. There aren't many people doing it either. As if it was removed, it's not in our DNA. What started me thinking on this was a rescue Wednesday night. It was another draining one. The members of Summit County Rescue Group amaze me. Their sacrifice of time, health and safety have taught me much about life. I do love them.
I received the page around 5:30. I drove just south of Breckenridge to the trail head for Mohawk Lakes, to meet with the team. I was assigned to Team 4 for the recovery of a 20-something male. He and his two friends were glissading down a steep gully when one of them lost control. The bottom of the snow ended in a scree field and drop off. He fell over 100 feet to his death. Once the Deputy Coroner announced his condition we carried him out the 3+ miles.
There is something like a black vacuum around a dead man's body. For me it's like a dark hole for feelings. You're not sure what to feel or say or think. You don't know where to look. I volunteered to carry the body bag in my pack. I kept thinking that in a few hours I would be carrying a man in that bag. So thin is the line when there is life and when there is not. Seemingly instant is the junction from living to dead.
I got home around 10 that night, tired on a few different levels. I laid in bed thinking about someone's son, someone's best friend, someone's crush. An hour before that I was carrying that son, that friend, that crush on a stretcher. There seems to be something deeper there, than just being scared of death. I don't think I'm afraid of death, but it's presence is intoxicating. As if it's not death that's the issue, it's the absence of life. Maybe we just fear not living. I wonder if that is how we ought to conduct our faith - fear of not being alive.
At 10:30 pm the immediate family would be finding out that they had lost their son. I pray that God would be there, that he would invade. God can bring hope to hopeless things. He can bring life where there is none to be found.
Please pray for this family. We'd love to hear your thoughts on what dying means to you.