On March 1, Sister Carolyn Ocwet died of a brain hemorrhage at the Royal London Hospital. I didn’t really know her or her family too well, but she was in my district. I found out almost seconds after I boarded the train at High Barnet station and I felt physically and emotionally sick. I wanted to cry, but the British stiff upper lip wouldn’t let me. I wanted to punch something but my rationale told me that would be a stupid thing to do. so I sat in silence and drifted off into a daydream instead.
These 12 days have been some of the most confusing and piercing days of my life. I’ve pretty much re-evalutated my whole way of life and now I’m more confident about standing out up and declaring my faith in the face of opposition. The older I get, the more I realise that Christ is the way. Below is an extract from my diary as I tried to get to grips with what was happening.
“She sat next to me. Well there was an empty chair separating us but that doesn’t matter. I never considered that the following Lord’s Day she wouldn’t be there. She loved the Lord, I could feel that. I could sense that. I’m not concerned about her salvation.
So often we have a reckless disregard for life. I know I do. I do things and say things without considering the ripple effect.
I’ve never understood death. I’ve never been able to fully comprehend it. When my maternal grandfather died I laughed, I guess out of a sense of relief that after two years he was finally out of his misery, but I never understood the sadness and pain my mother felt. This was the man who’d raised me for 6 years and whom I closely resembled. He was the defining male figure in my life. And he was gone.
But now a woman I’m unrelated to and hardly knew dies and I feel something. I feel numb. Sitting on this train on my way home, I feel the Spirit warming through me. There are tears but I’m a Londoner. I can’t let them see me vulnerable.
I remember Last Lord’s Day I drifted off towards the end and played on my phone instead. When I post about the Lord on Facebook I put my privacy settings on because I don’t want to deal with those who don’t agree. If it had been me that had died instead, I would be woefully inadequate to face the Lord.
There’s a hymn that says: “Fight saints for Jesus our Lord. Take in His life, stand in one accord. Never fear God’s enemy; tread on his head triumphantly.”
We must fight…I must fight for Jesus our Lord.
I guess it’s a cliche for someone else’s death to shake me out of my spiritual stupor. But it really has. Praise the Lord that we can live His life because our own is too short.“