28 May 2007
"...Then to US you shall return."
Today I had the privilege of participating in a multi-faith presentation on death, dying and spirituality to first-year nursing students. Of course, I was responsible for the Christian perspective (I know what you're thinking, "Was there no one else available; they must have been desperate.")
At the tail-end of Ishmael's presentation of the Muslim perspective he shared a short verse from the Qur'an. His PowerPoint slide read: "Every soul shall taste death, then to US you shall return." (29:57) (The pronouns for God in the Qur'an are plural -- "we" and "us". So, in order to differentiate the "us" in this verse and show that it refers to God, he capitalised it). As Ishmael read it aloud, he caught himself, "'Every soul shall taste death, then to... not to the United States...to GOD.' They may want everything to return to them, but it doesn't!" The 150 students broke out in laughter.
Later, as I began my presentation I said, "Ishmael, my brother, there are exceptions. As an American citizen, when I die, I will be returned to the US, at least my body!"
Death and dying can be so funny.