The Fragility of the Human Condition
Both Ariel Sharon and Dick Cheney are known to be hardmen, not known for having a heart - a least that's the way the media portray it.
Both have enormous power and enormous responsibility.
Both are looked after by some of the best medical practioners in their respective countries.
Both have been suffering heart conditions. One is dying from a severe stroke and resulting brain haemorrahge, the other has just been taken to hospital suffering shortness of breath. [Update: Link added]
Yes, both are fat and probably unhealthy.
But I think their current physical condition highlights something bleedingly obvious: humanity is fragile. Often we walk and talk confidantly about what we have and aim to achieve. It only takes a clot to form in the back of your brain, it only takes a twang in a muscle in the heart to bring all that to nothing. And then what?
Yesterday evening, I was walking down a leafy street in inner Sydney. Leafy, as in heaps of trees and heaps of spider webs. I walked right into one (a spider web that is). After walking through, I stopped to clear it off my face and hair. I looked back, and a friend who was with me at the time, started pointing back to where the spider web was. He pointed out the Red Back spider climbing back up the (remaining) web. I don't react well to spider venom (or whatever it is they inject you with). I would probably die from such a bite. Death (probably) brushed me by last night.
As we continued walking, my friend pointed out that I could have been dead. I responded with the following verse (probably my favourite in the Bible):
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philipians 1:21 - ESV)Christ awaits me on the other side of this life. What awaits you?