I find myself in the business of serving the dying. It is the most difficult and rewarding work I have ever done. Each day I visit those who are lingering at the door of eternity. I see something profound in this work.
Those who have hardened themselves to God over a lifetime now come to the end with hearts of stone, unable to seek God or even respond to him. The hardness has left no room for God, no cracks where he can reach them. They have wanted nothing to do with him and now, at the end, see no need. Their end is the saddest of all.
Those who have sought him over a lifetime find at the end they will move from one breath of the air of earth and the next a fresh breath of eternity. The transition for them will be soft, sweet, as if walking through a door into another room. Their end of life is a celebration, a runner crossing the finish line, a discovery that they are finally home.
The contrast couldn't be more dramatic and more tragic. And yet I pray for them all that the people of the stone hearts might be softened and find the God who loves them. For the children of the King that they might cross the finish line with arms lifted high in celebration of a life lived for Christ.
There is nothing more important than this, that each of us will respond to God's sweet offer of his son with a "yes". It makes all the difference.