His two-year-old son died. He lost most of his wealth in the Great Chicago Fire. All four of his daughters drowned in the sinking of a passenger vessel. “Saved alone…” came a telegram from his wife. Afterward, he composed a hymn, “It is Well with my Soul.” Philip Bliss wrote the music.
We come to this: Nothing that matters is affected by death.
If it is unexpected and unpredicted, it is real; it is true. When we are taken by surprise, when we are seized and ravished by the experience of being stood upside down, the mind stops. In that moment, what “sleeps in our paper flesh like dynamite” explodes, and we are conscious of not knowing anything.
The likelihood is very great that no one reading today’s post will see out the century. Billions upon billions have come and gone before us. In the face of this, what relevance is there in the story of me? Life is not about me. I am part of a much bigger story. Shall I ignore the fact that the light from this morning’s sun has travelled 93 million miles to vivify the 33 red flowers standing companionably together in the mustard-coloured vase just to the right of me?