"Our Blessed Lord was proving himself to be the only one who ever came into
the world to die. The cross was not something that came at the end of his life;
it was something that hung over him since the very beginning." (Life of
Hmm. He's enigmatic that way sometimes. But, I think I understand where he was going. We come into this world to live, says the Producer, and the purpose of that life is to know, love, and serve God, and to be then happy with Him in heaven. However, we are also called to enter into the spirit of suffering of Jesus Christ, to take up His cross in our own lives by taking up our own 'crosses,' be they roommates, directors, marketing people, or the guy in the truck next to you whose music is really a bit much. Some are called to embrace that cross more fully than others, in the sense that their cross is much more intimately tied up with the death of the cross, rather than the life of it. There are those who teach us great lessons abour grace and about faith, but they do so in their deaths rather than in their lives. Those are the ones whose deaths are visible, prepared for, and agonizingly real for all those involved with it. It's an experience to learn from.
However, I remain at a loss as to what I can really tell the listener. This all sounds nice, but at the end of the day you are still left with a dying friend, a grieving family, and a fist one can but shake at God in frustration. Does theological babble really help? Does knowing that redemptive suffering exists really help? No. You're stuck here, you don't know what to do or say, and you can only watch. I feel for the listener, I reach out to them, but I'm helpless.
This is oddly familiar to me, though. It was exactly this time a year ago that another listener, from an older show of ours, went through this very thing. His friend was diagnosed with cancer, dying barely two months later. What could I say? Nothing. What could I do? Nothing. One can pray, and wait, and be patient, and do a lot of listening.
Good luck, listener. We're praying for you.