August 20, 2013

To the grave in full vigor

Last week we lost a friend.

Actually, he was a friend of a friend.  A hamster - named Flynn - who had been placed in our care when Jim and Rachel moved back to the States quite unexpectedly.  Flynn was a consolation prize, really.  We figured if we couldn't have Jim and Rachel and their kids Collin and Jackie, we would take their hamster.

But with the passing of time, the little guy grew on us.  I used to marvel at the tiny perfectness of his hands, the way his soft gray fur pulsed with his breathing, and the way his shiny black eyes, so small, were able to transform light into brain waves the same as ours.

Each living thing God has made is its own universe of cells and energy, amazingly alive, day after day.

But, as Bright learned in Biology last week, all living things grow, change, reproduce, and die.  Death will come to us all, just as it came to Flynn.

And so it was that I found him, lying stiffly on his side, in a bed of cedar chips, his open eyes sticky and dull.  Just the day before, he had been running circles in his cage, foraging for buried seeds, scaling his ramp, and hanging his pointy head from his hut window.  And yet there he was, motionless.

As I tried to comfort Zion and Brave (while Bright looked on courageously, and Jubilee stared curiously), I remembered a verse from my Bible reading that morning:

Job 5:26 says, "You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season."

I smiled, thinking about how perfectly Flynn exemplified "coming to the grave in full vigor."  Zipping around in the wood chips one day, out cold the next.

Isn't that how it should be?

So thank you, Flynn, for being so alive for a time, and then for modeling Job 5:26 in the way that you died.

May I, too, come to the grave in full vigor.