The apostle Paul declares, “To live is Christ; to die is gain” (Php. 1:21). Regardless of where he is in life, the Christian is drenched in hope, and when he dies, his hope will be realized. Therefore, death for the Christian is the passage into eternal Delight in his Savior, and should not be something that is feared, but it should be something that is waited for with eager expectation, for, “If we have died with Christ [by baptism], we believe that we will also live with him” (Rm. 6:8). Therefore, today, I remember my Inheritance in a sonnet I composed some years ago:
My belovéd Death! far too long have I
Been unfaithful to thee, giving Diblaim’s bed
To blind Desire and feigned Hope in thy stead.
Yet, how could I’ve known thee, hid ‘hind the lie
Of dye-drenched grayed hair and suppresséd sigh?
Seeing thee a foreign tyrant, I fled
From thy distance-blurred image to wed
One less loving to escape thy ill-bye.
I was deceived! Thou art not ill, indeed
Thou art the balm for my indifferent heart!
Come nigh to me (not too close!) and impart
The power thou gavest Keats in his age.
Breathe into me, sweet Death! cause me to bleed,
Fix my gaze past thee, my might never assuage.