Thursday, January 8, 2009

R.I.P. Richard John Neuhaus

Although this is a bit off topic, I just learned (from the Evangelical Outpost) that Richard John Neuhaus recently passed away. He was one of the lights of the evangelical community, and wrote a marvelous essay titled Born Towards Dying (and no, it's not maudlin at all). Here's a snippet:
It was a couple of days after leaving intensive care, and it was night. I could hear patients in adjoining rooms moaning and mumbling and occasionally calling out; the surrounding medical machines were pumping and sucking and bleeping as usual. Then, all of a sudden, I was jerked into an utterly lucid state of awareness. I was sitting up in the bed staring intently into the darkness, although in fact I knew my body was lying flat. What I was staring at was a color like blue and purple, and vaguely in the form of hanging drapery. By the drapery were two “presences.” I saw them and yet did not see them, and I cannot explain that. But they were there, and I knew that I was not tied to the bed. I was able and prepared to get up and go somewhere. And then the presences—one or both of them, I do not know—spoke. This I heard clearly. Not in an ordinary way, for I cannot remember anything about the voice. But the message was beyond mistaking: “Everything is ready now.”
I can just imagine the conversations he's having now. Read the whole thing here.