NEWS FROM THE FRONT PORCH: From grief to purpose through Christ

The recent plane crash tragedy that took the lives of a local doctor and several of his staff has rocked the community. As I walked down the hall past the late doctor's large, once-thriving office last week, my heart was heavy with prayer for the rest of the staff and the families. The glass doors that opened and closed many times during the day are now locked with a sign that indicates they will be closed indefinitely.

Grieving families and friends have gathered at each medical worker's funeral as pictures of smiling faces were laid to rest - lives ended in their prime were deeply mourned.

I'm reminded of past funerals of early deaths, like my beloved childhood pastor's funeral. His bright life was ended in his 30s. The funeral of his oldest daughter, also my best friend, followed a few years later. Our exuberant expectation of sharing upcoming high school graduation celebrations together was shattered when she was killed in a car wreck when we were 17.

For those of us with more questions than answers, perspective can be found in the Bible. God's Word states that life is a countdown. From the day we are conceived to the day we die, our lives consist of a pre-established account of time from which we withdraw a day at a time.

The wisest man that ever lived stated in Proverbs that it is better for one to attend a funeral than a birth celebration. Funerals teach that there is an expiration date for every life. If we live in light of the truth that our days are numbered, then we can live more intentionally.

Jesus lived the most passionate intentional life. One filled with laughter, healing and pouring Himself out for others. His life was so joy-filled that he attracted the fun-lovers of society more that the somber religious crowd. Yet He was also described as a "man of sorrows" because of the wreck sin had made of the beautiful creation that was made through Him.

Christ's life illustrates the perfect balance - enjoying life while stabilized with the truth of life. That is why Jesus said that He is the Life. The Way. The Truth. Without truth there is no Life. There is no Way without truth. The Way, the Truth and the Life are inseparable and found only in Christ.

When Christ the Creator walked the earth as a Man, flowers must have wanted to sprout and throw themselves under His every step. Trees must have joined in singing choruses of praise. Animals must have surrounded the outskirts of every place he stood, listening for His Voice and thriving on His glances. Only the crown of Creation wanted to kill him.

Christ lived life perfectly and defeated death perfectly. Giving us back the true freedom of life that our first parents gave up in the garden. Free through Him to live life on earth intentionally, joyfully savoring every moment and complete with the expectation of the banquet to come - eternity with Him. Life in its fullest as He designed it. Forever.

"For you O Lord are good, and ready to forgive our trespasses, sending them away, letting them go completely and forever: and you are abundant in mercy and loving-kindness to all those who call upon You." Psalm 86:5

Dianne Brady is an author and speaker and can be reached at gracekeeper@comcast.net