Today I am grieving the death a friend and a hero: Mildred Pagan. A woman who I wished I knew better--a woman who could get things done, while living in relative poverty. She fought for her community at Lathrop Homes and she fought for her neighbors.
She died Tuesday morning from complications following a massive heart-attack and bypass surgery two weeks ago. See obituary here.
When someone dies euphemisms come by the dozens. She passed, passed away, went to a better place, went to meet the Lord, expired, diseased, lost her life, moved on, perished, left this life, is no more, or my all time least favorite: the Lord took her.
No, No, no. God did not take her. God is life and light--not death and darkness.
The worst thing about this saying is how misleading it is. It assumes God is all powerful, yet forgets that God is good. It leads people--vulnerable grieving people to think that God selfish and wanted their loved one's company so desperately he took it violently.
No, no, no. God did not take her, death took her.
There are a few times in the bible that God actually does take someone to be with him--but it is not through death. "By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: 'He could not be found, because God had taken him away.' For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God." (Hebrews 11:5)
Death took my friend this morning. But death will not have its last say with her or her family or even her neighborhood.
Like it says in the bible," When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
(1 Corinthians 15:53-55)
Let's stop saying, "God took so, and so." And, let us cloth ourselves with the imperishable by making our lives, and her life count for something of eternal value--like housing for the poor in Chicago.
Let me share this link again: Housing for the poor going unbuilt.
My heart breaks for Mildred's family and friends who are many, and like her son Moises said at her memorial we've got to complete her work.
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