I took my wife to dinner this past weekend to a well-known steak house. It had the usual decor with booths, tables and a bar area. There were antique signs and items on the walls – plenty of college and NFL paraphernalia on the walls. The restaurant is in a college town, so there were frat boys, sorority girls, professors, doctors, truck drivers, etc. All levels of society were there, all the way down to simple blogger. Not only was there power and affluence there, but, it would seem, everything that would inspire a person to enjoy life.

My wife and I ordered our meal. The people around us were talking and laughing. It was an atmosphere of enjoyment. Then, suddenly, from the end of the bar there was a call, “Is there a doctor or an EMT here?” We saw people rush over and look down to the floor. Apparently someone had passed out or fallen. The paramedics were called.

We were closer to the area of concern than others. Most people kept eating, drinking, talking, and laughing, unaware of the problem at the end of the bar.
We heard them say, “There’s no pulse, and no dilation.” The man was dead. The paramedics worked on him, giving him CPR as they took him out to the ambulance, and continued to work on him for a few minutes before they transported him to the hospital. There still was no signs of life.

We learned later that he had been treated for heart problems in the past. He was a regular at the restaurant. He had no family, but enjoyed sitting at the bar and conversing with other regulars there. They said that he hadn’t had anything to drink. He started to the rest room, saying that he didn’t feel well, but fell over hitting his head on the tile floor. All the happiness and life in the restaurant hadn’t helped him.

I sat there, and was struck by how quickly the entire restaurant resumed normal activity, even waiters and waitresses walking over the spot where a man had just died. The eating, drinking, laughing, and talking were almost instantly resumed, as if the man had never been there.

I guess that’s like all our lives. When we leave this world, it’s like taking a cup of water out of a running stream. Before the cup of water completely leaves the stream, the rushing water rushes in to fill the void; and it’s as if nothing were taken out of it. The water rushes on, and life goes on. Life is smoke and mirrors. It’s only temporary. It isn’t really reality or the full story. Life after death is the reality. It is permanent and everlasting. It is beauty and love beyond imagination. God will never forget us or forsake us. And no one there will ever forget us again.

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