New Life

In the previous blog on Mohammed, I wrote that Yousef reported that his heart stopped for thirty minutes a few days ago, and that the ICU staff successfully resuscitated him. However yesterday night he went into heart failure, but the doctors and nurses could not bring him back. Georgia, Yousef and I went to the hospital last night to bring his aunt to Shevet to sleep. When we entered his hospital room all the lights were dark except for one bright one right above his bed. His aunt sat by his bed, softly crying. It was a strange sort of calm, but evidence of the chaos that had ensued only shortly beforehand was all around the room. After a night’s rest Mohammed’s aunt, Yousef, and I went back to Sheba this morning to collect his death certificate, her bags left at the hospital, and his body to bring home to Gaza.

His aunt, who took such good care of him while he was here, opened the body bag as we were waiting at the Erez Checkpoint on the border of Gaza. There were no tears in her eyes, only tender admiration for her nephew. “My darling” she said in Arabic as she smiled and gently touched his face. This is how I will remember them both.

As the apostle Paul writes in Romans, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”  I ask you to join our community as we reflect on Mohammed’s life: he lived, his existence matters. We pray to a God who understands death because he submitted himself to it, far from being an abstract entity who lives in the sky, we worship and cry out to a God who has scars, who knows the pain of death, yet death could not contain him. And finally, mourn with us, the Holy Spirit knows the prayers that come through tears. Please intercede for Mohammed’s family, to experience the comfort of God, the same God who tasted death and rose again to life, this new, eternal life, which he believe little Mohammed is experiencing right now.