“There are no words” was the only thing that I could think of as we walked down the street behind the hearse that carried the body of our friends’ son to the cemetery.
Around us were the sounds of songs sung to Mother Mary on behalf of the young man that had died. Some of the words were as follows:
“I hope to save my soul, with the help of God.
My obedience of the Ten Commandments opens the gates of Heaven. “
These words really struck me as being so final, and eternally condemning. The depth of death struck such a blow, and carried with it a soul unprepared to meet his Maker. All around us the doors of the stores and homes along the road were being closed in honor and respect of the mourners passing by. People were not talking to one another but rather walking in a somber way, slow and methodic. The father , surrounded by loved ones, was leaning on the casket in the open back of the hearse. Once we arrived at the cemetery, the songs echoed off the walls of a small, bare, cement corridor, adding to the somber atmosphere. Inside a small room to the left, the family waited as the casket was once again opened for the family to say their last good bys to their loved one. No words were heard other than the sobbing of the mother and the young man’s wife. Then the casket was closed again and carried by the father, brother, and cousins to the burial plot. The mourners followed. Once again no speeches, no words of encouragement, and no words of remembrance of the young man who had died. As the casket was lowered into the grave, the crowd erupted into applause. Then the only sound you could hear was the sobbing of the wife.
As I looked around at the shaking shoulders of grown men and women in grief, I was reminded that death will come to us all. Where will you be at that moment? What state will your soul be in? Will you face the Lord in judgment or as His precious child coming home? I am sure that Carlos did not have time to think of all these things when he collided head on with another car.
Only two days ago, Andy was speaking with Carlos about his kids, who are 4 years and 6 months old. Only two days ago, he was working on our van, repairing our problems, not looking to the eternal state of his own soul. Only two days ago, we didn’t know there wouldn’t be a tomorrow for this man. Would things have been different? Would our conversation have had more meaning? Would we have been more bold to share the Truth of God’s Word one more time?
Death is so final and often so fast. Here in Brasil, the family has no time to process the events of the death. No time to think. As soon as the town hears of the death, they sit at the home of the family and mourn with them. For a day and a night they are there to offer silent comfort and support, and the next day the loved one is buried.
Please pray for Carlos’ wife, Nara, and the children, Mateus and Ana Luiza, for his father Paulo and mother Maria das Dores, that they would be drawn to Christ through their grief. Miles and Coleen (Andy’s mom and dad) have had the opportunity to share God’s Word with this family several times and also taught phase one of the chronological Bible teaching to Carlos and his wife. May the Lord use this to draw them to Himself. It isn’t enough to hear the truth; each one must act on that knowledge. Tomorrow may never come for some.