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At Life's End it's Not About Tech but Relationships

Andy Crouch shares this touching story: A few years ago I had the great gift of being invited into the bedroom of my friend David Sacks, born in 1968 just like me but brought to the end of his life by cancer that, by the time it was discovered, had erupted throughout his body. After a glorious and grace-filled year of life made possible by medical treatment, David's illness outran the drugs. In his last days he lay on his bed. His body was now unbearably thin and weak. David was an internationally celebrated photographer, but he would never make another image. He had sent me countless text messages over the years, but now he was beyond text messaging. He had created a Facebook group where he and his wife, Angie, chronicled the story of his cancer diagnosis, treatment, and all the ups and downs that followed, but he would never again update it.

But he was still there, still with us, still able, just barely, to hear us praying and singing—able, in moments of lucidity, to open his eyes, take in the small group of family and friends gathered around his bed and know he was not alone. His brother brought a guitar and we sang, several nights in a row, Matt Redman's song "10,000 Reasons."

The technology was over. The easy-everywhere dream had ended. Now we could only be here, in our own vulnerable bodies, present to the immensely hard reality of a friend, father, son, and husband dying. Over the bed was a framed, calligraphed rendering of David and Angie's wedding vows.

It was one of the hardest places I have ever been. It was one of the most holy places I have ever been. It was one of the best places I have ever been.

We are meant to build this kind of life together: the kind of life that, at the end, is completely dependent upon one another; the kind of life that ultimately transcends, and does not need, the easy solutions of technology because it is caught up in something more true and more lasting than anything our technological world can invent. We are meant to die in one another's arms, surrounded by prayer and song, knowing beyond knowing that we are loved. We are meant for so much more than technology can ever give us—above all, for the wisdom and courage that it will never give us. We are meant to spur one another along on the way to a better life, the life that really is life.

Why not begin living that life, together, now?

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