Last week Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar (aka Burma) and officially killed at least 22,980 people with another 42,000 missing, 1 million homeless and unofficial estimates expect the death toll to top 100,000. Those kind of numbers, like the 2004 Southeast Asia Tsunami, are staggering. In contrast, 2005’s Hurricane Katrina was a stronger storm than Nargis yet only killed 1,836 people (still a staggering number). I can’t imagine the reality of that kind of widespread death.
Today a wife and her three children from my church are burying their 42-year-old husband and father after a 3-year battle with cancer. This death, though expected and small in number, is equally as staggering.
My only comfort is that death is not the last word.
And I mean that in the sense that I believe in a life after death, and in the sense that our response to death—how we live our lives in the aftermath, whether it’s the death of a lone man or multiplied thousands—says so much more about us than death ever could.