Start Early

“Why do you cry loudly? Have you no king?” – Micah 4:9

A member of my church lost her husband to brain cancer two years ago. He died way too young. It’s been a rough go, but she got up off the mat, felt her feet beneath her, found her sparkling self again. Then she was diagnosed with lymphoma.

When I saw her in the hospital she told me something I’ve heard from others. Her husband came back to her. She heard him speaking. This happens more than you might think. I’ve dreamed of my dead father for decades, heard his voice in silent moments.

Her husband didn’t waste words. “You worry all the time. About the girls. About work. It stands out because there is no worry here. You’ll see. When you’re with God you don’t have to worry. So why worry now? Don’t wait to get here. Start early.”

Like much good advice, it might be impossible to follow. It is hard to live in paradise down here on earth, especially when you’re facing chemo. And yet, she found deep comfort in his words. So did I. We have much to be anxious about, but we know how the story ends. We know how our story ends. It ends with a beautiful beginning, a realm where all ears are dried and mourning is no more.

You can wait until the moment that you die to let that truth change you, or you can start early.

Why not start early? It may not erase all your fear, but it won’t hurt to try.


Dear God, thank you for coming to us in Jesus and calling us back to you.

ddauthormattfitzgerald.jpgAbout the Author
Matt Fitzgerald is the Senior Pastor of St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago. He is the host of “Preachers on Preaching,” a weekly podcast sponsored by The Christian Century.