My phone rang in the middle of the night. It was one of those hours of the night when a ringing phone is bad news. People don’t call your house at 10:30 at night just to say hi. This phone call was no exception.
One of the senior adults in my church fell in his home and his wife couldn’t do anything to help him. By the time I got to the house, the ambulance was already there. So was another leader in our church.
We were there to help however we could. We moved furniture around so the EMTs could move our friend out on a stretcher and get him to the hospital. I stood and watched while the EMTs loaded my friend into the ambulance. He would never return to his home.
This is not how it’s supposed to be.
Because of sin, death entered into our world. We tend to think of death as a natural thing, like graduating from high school or learning to ride a bike. In reality, nothing could be more unnatural than death (Genesis 3).
But as I stood by that ambulance I saw something else. I saw the wife of my friend, in her usual calm and controlled manner, climb into the back of the ambulance. I should say, try to climb into the back of the ambulance. People in their late 70s don’t climb into ambulances very easy. As it turns out, no one is allowed to climb into the back of the ambulance to be with their loved one. That’s just for TV. The EMTs kindly directed her to the front of the ambulance where she would ride with her husband to the hospital.
And that’s how it’s supposed to be.
A couple enduring the trials that come with life – together. A couple working their way through changes in income brackets, housing arrangements and health – together. A couple that refused to let anything tear them apart; not cancer, not age and not even really a law that says wives can’t ride with their husbands in the back of an ambulance. A couple that meant it when they said that until death, they would be together.
What a great illustration of Christ’s love for his church (Ephesians 5:22-33), a love that even death cannot touch.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39