At a funeral recently, I listened to a friend of mine tell a story about the last few days of a man's life after a long struggle with cancer. My friend was the dying man's hospice chaplain.
One day towards the end, my friend was there visiting with the man while his daughter was there as well. And, at one point the man just looked up and said: "Why am I here . . . why am I still here?" The question hung in the air and demanded an answer. And, it got one. His daughter looked back at him and in an impassioned but clear voice said: "you are here so that I could get to know you like I have this past year . . . like I had never known you my whole life." And, everyone in that room broke down crying. The daughter had spoken a truth that went very deep, and a truth that united father, daughter, and their chaplain. And, that truth is the understanding they shared - the deepest understanding there is: love.