On Tuesday, this past week, I saw in the newspaper that Dr. Lazar died, at the age of only 52, in a skiing accident in Canada. Dr. Lazar was the spinal surgeon who operated on my back nearly ten years ago now. I was only in surgery a couple of hours but, in that brief time, was cured of constant, crippling pain. He was a healer.
On hearing the news, I felt a sense of tremendous pain and grief at the loss of such a skilled doctor from whose skills I had benefited so much. This is so, even though I only saw him two or three times in my life. After the surgery and one follow up visit, he knew his work was done and there was no further need for his services. I have always respected and admired that.
I also felt a tinge of anger. What was he doing, a man of such skill, capable of such important work, on a dangerous ski slope in the Canadian Rockies? He had no business being there and putting himself in such danger. Then, I reminded myself of two things. First, we must live our lives the best we can and that means not in fear of the “what if.” To live that way is to not live at all.
I also thought of the tremendous contingency of our lives; of how fragile life truly is, for any of us and even in the best of circumstances. We are here only by the gift of God’s grace and only moment by moment. We “do well always and everywhere” to give Him our thanks and gratitude – and to be prepared for the time when we return to Him for all eternity.
It’s the very best we can do.