I have a friend who is dying.
Ron wouldn't mind me saying that.
We sat together late this afternoon and talked about living and dying. He's weaker than he was last week when I stopped by. But still Ron. Full of courage. (Not surprising to find in an ex-Marine. Who was airlifted out of Vietnam several times after having been wounded.) Full of faith.
He told me he had called the funeral home to make sure things were in order. Checked with the cemetery to see that the plots were all paid for. Ron said he wanted to talk with me soon about the service. He wondered if it would be okay to have his combat boots on display at the church. I said, "Sure!"
And, of course, he asked about my day. How things were going. Told me he knew I was too busy.
Ron is quite a guy. Decent. Not perfect. But decent and strong and courageous and positive and full of faith.
We prayed. I got up to leave. As I approached their front door I turned and told he and his wife, "You're doing this just right. Crying and laughing and living every hour of the life God has given you here."
Ron, who was sitting in a recliner, nodded. "And when your life here is done," I said, "you'll have another life with God."
"I know it," Ron said.
"When you get up there look around," I said, "check things out. Because when I get there you can show me around, okay?"
"I'll do it," Ron said with a smile.
"I've got a feeling you and I could cause some trouble," I said grinning as I opened the door to head out into the late afternoon sunshine.
"I think we could, too," Ron said with a smile.
The door closed behind me.
Jesus says, in John 7:48-51: I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eaqt of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.
"When I get there you can show me around, okay?"
"I'll do it."