Hope Beyond Death (#460)

What do people think about when death becomes imminent? The experiences of an Emergency Medical Technician in New York offers some startling observations. In the backdrop of Wayne's mother passing away a few months ago and his recent contacts with others dealing with death in a variety of ways, he opens a conversation on the events that surround death in our world. Since it is God's enemy as well as ours, would he not be in it with us and grace us through the fears and concerns we might have preparing us for another world? He also responds to an email about euthanasia and what we might consider both in our personal choices what we might demand of others around us. (Note: This podcast was recorded two weeks ago before the events in Oregon where a young woman battling a brain tumor took her own life.)

Podcast Links:
Matthew O'Reilly's Ted Talk, "Am I Dying?"
Finding Church Facebook Page
Order Finding Church
If you can help with the needed medications in North Pokot, you can get more details here.
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at "TheGodJourney"


  1. WOW !!!!! I don’t see how it could be put in any better verbage, and very timely.

  2. Wow. Gonna have to listen to that again, probably several times. I hate to admit it but life’s been tough recently. In some of my darker moments I’ve thought about suicide. Not for long, but the thoughts have been there. Just the longing to be rid of the pain of this life and be in the arms of Father. So it’s great that this subject (death) is being talked about again. I’m caring for my elderly parents, and I’ve not seen my Chinese wife in 11 months. New immigration laws prevent her from even visiting the UK as I have no income. Some times I feel like I’ll never see her agaiin. The pain of that thought is almost unbearable. If I’m feeling like this, what about people who have had to face real loss or tragedy? Maybe I’ll be able to be a help to someone like that one day and my pain will be worthwhile. Should a person be allowed to take their own life if they are in great pain or suffering? I’m glad I didnt. Maybe there’s an argument that if a person whose life is being sustained by medication should have the right to stop taking it. Then death, if it comes, would be natural, rather than the prolonged life being unnatural. I dont know. Surely for the believer there is always hope, even though physical or emotional pain may obscure it. These are massive issues and its great that you are discussing them. Thank you.

  3. Hi Robin,

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation. And by the way, it is ‘real loss’ when you’re in the midst of it all even if it is a temporary situation because you probably feel like you’re being robbed of time and life with your wife.

    Will be praying for you. It’s no consolation at this point in time but this is the type of pain that makes you more resilient and increases your capacity for empathy.

    I hope that things turn around for you soon.


    • Thanks Christie. All of what you say is so very true. One day I will look back in appreciation of this time. Sometimes I already do. But there are other times… Thanks for your prayers and comments. They are very much appreciated.

    • That’s supposed to be a “heart” symbol, not a “question mark,” at the end of the sentence.

  4. Thanks for the “e-comments/conversation”. I join with you all in that this really resonated with me as well. Seems that there are times when Jesus confirms what He has been whispering to me..to hear or read comments about His focus being His presence with us and “Sue, let me carry this. Not that you’re giving me permission but to rest in my caring for you so you don’t take on this false weight of responsibility when I’m right there with the perfect strength to handle all of this”. We know that there isn’t a way to systemitize that. It truly comes out of going back and back to the relationship.

  5. I see death daily. I, too am a veterinarian, and I contemplate it often. I agree with Wayne that death is our enemy. It is unnatural. It is senseless. In my profession, it is most often choosing the lesser of evils. When I talk to people about their options, it’s amazing to me how often people say that they don’t want their beloved pet to suffer. Death being a lesser evil than suffering seems to be intuitive to us as humans. I would argue that intuitive knowledge comes from the image of God within us. If this is so, then our “instincts” concerning suffering would be nothing more than a reflection of the Father’s heart. I followed Brittany Maynard’s story with great empathy for her and her family. Years ago, I would have disagreed with her decision, and would have seen her as ignorant of God’s purpose in her situation. Now, in my present understanding of Father’s heart, I cannot imagine him wanting us to suffer one second longer than we would want our kids to suffer. Can he use suffering to make good? You bet. Yet, I think that is a salvage procedure (bringing good from suffering), not something of his design or doing (bringing suffering so that good may come).

  6. Thank you for a thought provoking podcast. I trained as a funeral celebrant this year, responding to our Father’s invitation to comfort those who mourn by putting together personal funeral services for anyone, no matter what their beliefs are. The experience of the EMT affirmed and encouraged me in my aims to put together a tribute to someone’s life, that it had meaning and that they will be remembered, even more important when it’s just me standing before the coffin of a homeless person I know nothing about. He has shown me how precious every single person is, body, soul and spirit, after all He made every part of us with His own hands. I’m learning so much in partnership with Him.

  7. “God wanted an angel, blah blah. blah…” I heard this in one form or another more times than I can count after our son died. Which led me to think, that nothing comforts quite like bad theology. NOT!

  8. Good listening in on this podcast.
    The part about people knowing their life had meaning brought to mind a recent experience. About two years ago a former classmate kept coming to mind. I tried to find out if people remembered her, and if anyone knew where she was at the time. Pictures of her, and remembrances of her within the context of our high school days kept cropping up. Several months ago, on social media, her cousin mentioned that the girl/woman was fighting cancer, and was in hospice. As it turned out, another acquaintance volunteers at that hospice facility. I asked her to take a message to this person, which she was kind enough to do. The woman in question was surprised by the letter, and due to the passage of time and medication she was on, she couldn’t remember me specifically. I found her profile on social media and saw that she was a person of faith and was part of a group who prayed for one another. I wrote another letter to her, and sent along a high school graduation picture as she had requested. I told her how she had been impressed on my memory and after seeing her social media profile it made so much more sense… I really believed Papa wanted her to know that she had impacted lives, even if she wasn’t aware of it. He wanted her to know that. She lost her battle to the cancer.
    I attended her memorial service, and when I met her daughter, she thanked me profusely for writing to her mom. It turns out that she read those letters to her and she told me her daughter asked her to read them several times in her final days. It affected me deeply that Papa would prompt me along the way, in order to let one of his special daughters know that her life meant something to others. You just never know what he is about sometimes. It is good to follow gentle prompts and step out.

  9. Valerie, what an amazing story. It’s great that you followed through on that nudge in your heart and brought great blessing into someone’s life when they perhaps needed it the most.

Comments are closed.