We’re only four days into this week and I’m feeling like we’ve been reminded about reality.

It began on the first day of the week (Sunday) with the news of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash. Whether you are an NBA, Lakers, or Kobe fan or not, I’m sure you have a sense of his greatness as a basketball player. There have been many tributes to Kobe since his passing on the news and from individuals who admired him.

What has impressed and encouraged me is the reports of how much Kobe grew and matured the last few years. Since his retirement he had been doing many good things and contributing in many ways. No matter what anyone thought about him as a player, I think everyone would agree that Kobe’s death at the age of 41 is a huge loss.

But it was not just Kobe who died in the accident. There were eight others, including one of Kobe’s daughters, who were killed in the crash.

Sunday night I learned of another unexpected death that understandably did not get the attention of the day’s earlier death. The father of a longtime friend and ministry partner of mine passed away early Sunday morning. He was in his late 70s, but his death (as was Kobe’s) was unexpected. And like Kobe’s family, friends, and fans, my friend’s dad left family and friends to grieve his loss.

This week I have had multiple conversations with members of our church’s senior population about hospital visits and medical procedures. Some of the reports have been more encouraging than others.

The reality is that all of us are going to face and deal with problems of all kinds including health issues and eventually death (if Jesus doesn’t return first). And with regard to death, we won’t know the how or when until it happens. Both Kobe’s passing, and my friend’s dad’s death, remind us of that.

In my conversations with people about death I usually tell them I’m prepared, but not ready. I realize some hear that as a contradiction, but what I mean is that if I die unexpectedly I am prepared, but at the age of 68 I’m not really ready as I hope to keep going for a while.

One final thought about reality that should encourage us: “Biblical faith insists that God doesn’t love us because we’re worthy; we have worth and value because God loves us” (Peter W. Marty). Hallelujah!

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Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/aitoff-388338/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=1207568″>Andrew Martin</a> from <a href=”https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=1207568″>Pixabay</a&gt;