The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

The Death of an Anchorman

I am truly saddened by the passing of Peter Jennings. He was certainly a news staple for many growing up watching the news, and he was that for me. His passing has already been heralded with veneration and dignity throughout the media--and rightly so. He was the story we love to read--a high-school drop out who came to America and made a name for himself.

Now, so quickly he is gone. Yet, unfortunately, so quickly will most of us move on. We reflect some but have little more than nice thoughts and pained emotions. We offer a quick R.I.P., hardly recognizing what we are saying. Rest in Peace. Is there rest in death? Is death a peaceful passing? Into what? We live our lives as though these questions bear nothing upon them. Friends, neighbors, family, acquaintances pass through that gate, our living is constantly faced up to by death, its brevity, its finality, our own mortality, but we just keep playing video games, watching MTV and the newest comedy at the theatre. We just continue consuming.

Why do we honor a man like Peter Jennings? He was not merely, or even primarily, a consumer but a contributor.

Most of all, the question that kept nagging at me, is this: 'Did he die with hope?' Is there hope amid the uncertainty of death? Amid all our feelings of sadness, as his colleagues mourn his death, can we and they find hope?

I have my own opinions, but I want you, my reader, to wrestle with it. Does death unsettle you? Can you brush it off without a shiver? And move your thoughts to nicer, less important topics with a clear conscience? I pray the answer is 'No.'