“If mortals die, will they live again? All the days of my hard service, I will wait for my release to come. You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.” -Job 14:14-15
I was first introduced to this set of verses from the ancient Scriptures from my good friend, Mark Palmer, who had verse 14 tattooed in Hebrew around his wrist like a bracelet. “If mortals die, will they live again?” For him, it reminded him of his place in life when he woke in the morning. That he was mortal and God was God. This gave context to his life. Humility and Reverence gave his life structure. When his wife died at the age of 26 with stomach cancer, this piece of Hebrew poetry from Job drove him deeper in understanding of his place in this dramatic cosmos we call life and then death. He contemplated if mortals die, will they live again?
Not more than 2 years later, he himself contracted colon cancer. As his body emaciated from the tumors and the results of poisonous chemotherapy, the hebrew tattoo morphed in it’s shape but it still cried out in full depth, “If mortals die, will they live again?” Still grieving his young bride, he faced his own oncoming death at the age of 30. Our last time together, about a week before he passed, he stared at that tattoo and said something like, ‘Marshall, this has real meaning.’ If mortals die, will they live again? March 27, 2006, Palmer as a mortal died, challenging all of us left, does he live again?
You can go through all of your life and never ask this question. You can graduate with degrees, you can work jobs, earn paychecks, pay bills, attend parties, seek happiness, raise families, complain, value temporary things, spend your life earning $ to ‘comfortably’ retire so you can collect shells on the beach, never experience contentment, lust for more etc. etc. Dear mortal, in the end, is this a big enough idea?
If mortals die, will they live again? The answer to this question gives your life context and meaning. To this day, it still haunts me. God is God, I am mortal. We are not equals. Though I don’t understand Him completely, I know my place. He alone holds all wisdom and blessing, I yield myself to it today.
May this question haunt you, too. If mortals die, will they live again?