All earthly things

By Rebekah Robinson 

I live about three minutes from the university I attended and graduated from five months ago (and as Iʼm typing “five months,” my heart beats a little faster and my hands are sweatier in a oh-my-heavens-how-is-that-possible kind of way). Sometimes itʼs easy and sometimes itʼs hard to drive past those gates. Maybe Iʼm a little bit jealous of all those people/students/kids walking to their classes, thinking of possible futures, growing up.

Have you ever been really moved by your own mortality? Iʼm sorry if that was an abrupt transition, but it makes sense to me right now as I sit in an apartment Iʼve rented for over a year now that was once occupied by other humans before me.

My friendʼs mom passed away a couple of weeks ago. A few nights ago I got to hear her talk about it: the passing, the after the passing and the new normal sheʼll adopt.

“She didnʼt take anything with her,” she said a couple of times. Her sweet mother didnʼt take her bible or her wedding ring or her children or even her body. She just went.

My friend is much wiser and kinder than most, and hearing her talk about the joy she knows deep down under all the sadness is incredibly hard to explain in words.

Because in the end, weʼll all leave. All the earthly things we treasure and coddle and think about and store up arenʼt meant to stay with us, because they were never really ours in the first place. I think about all the “blessings” in my life — and they really are blessings because Iʼm in no way entitled to or deserving of good health or a loving family or a warm bed — and I know Iʼve grown up in my faith because I finally know that I donʼt want any of those earthly things if I donʼt know the One who gives and takes.

As I think about my mortality, Iʼm reminded that Iʼm not actually mortal.

Sure, Iʼll die an earthly death and have to say goodbye to people I love, but I know Iʼm a part of a greater existence: bigger than myself, impossible to believe devoid of divine intervention.

Iʼm not saying death doesnʼt hurt, because death wouldnʼt be death without suffering. But as the old hymn says, “Even so, it is well with my soul.”



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