Death to Life

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end. As for tongues, they will cease. As for knowledge, it will come to an end (1 Corinthians 13.8)

Jesus said: “Those who want to save their life will lose it and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it (Mark 8.35)


Nothing, I think
(and it strikes me a purest paradox:
at first glance, making little sense, being nonsense,
yet, at its heart, embracing, embodying deepest truth)
has life that is not wrought
from death:

The cosmos formed and forms still at God’s command;
Spirit-breath looming o’er the vast chaos deep;
a paroxysmal, disintegrating Big-Bang into
galaxies of suns, moons, stars –
e’er-expanding, ne’er-ending…

babies emerge into this world
from the depths, aye, the death of their first-conceived living,
dwelling secure in their mothers’ wombs…

plants arise from seeds that fall
into the warming tomb of Mother Earth and die…

bread is made from the grinding, the crushing of grain;
wine from the trampling, the shredding of the grape…

prophecies, long ago once spoken,
betoken their fulfillment and when come, end;
ceding, leading the way for newer prophecies of come what may…

our tongues cease speaking
at the moment of our dying
and our new-borning-entry into our promised larger-living…

prior and present knowledge
surrenders ground, supplanted by newest discoveries…

and salvation is brought, bought at the bloody cost
of a cross-borne death.

Why is it, then
(and from whence did the lesson, the lie come)
that living consists in saving,
not a life of self-sacrificing in love-giving?

3 thoughts on “Death to Life

  1. I wish I had an answer to your question Paul but at the moment I don’t…. I promise to think about it though…..

    In your examples, So many things actually have to die before others things are produced to live or give life…. like the bread and wine you mentioned….resulting from grapes and grain.

    I’ll give you an example using what you have said I do best…. relating my experiences to your words. Last night in Phoenixville, one of the award winners was a woman who was a caregiver for her daughter from the time she was diagnosed with cancer until her death. She cried all the way to the podium to accept her award. She was shocked that she had won the Caregiver Soul award. She spoke about the joy she had caring for her daughter but that so much of her had died with her daughter. What was amazing was that after the ceremony she sought me out for a hug…she told me that she was starting to turn the corner and find joy in her life again and that my words had pushed her further down the path of joy again and finding and acknowledging her caregiver role that God intends for her to carry on with others. So death of her daughter and part of herself now will give life to others who are suffering that she’ll be caring for in the future.Amen to that!!

    Much love PRA!


  2. Oh, my goodness gracious…what a powerful witness to the paradox, the truth of life out of death or death to life. Thank you for sharing this woman’s testimony. Aye, who among does not know of sensing, feeling as if a part of us has died with the death of a loving one? And who among us does not know and cannot identify with the journey of grief; how it takes time to sense one’s being regrounded in life in this world (although, doubtless, at the start of that trek, who among us can know, can be assured that our path will end, and then continue with and in a sense of renewed purpose)? Again, a splendid testament of death to life. Thank you for sharing her story. Thank God.



    1. I KNEW you’d appreciate that story!! We must have hugged for 5 or 6 minutes but people in the book line just gave us the time. Amazing!!


      Liked by 1 person

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