Sculptor Liz Shepherd’s 2018 exhibition The Wait was described by a Boston Globe correspondent as “evok[ing] the precious, exposed, and transcendent in life.” Inspired by the time Shepherd spent at her dying father’s bedside, the exhibition attempts to convey yearning, the emptiness of loss, and the fragile sense that loved ones are just out of reach.
The idea that death is precious might seem counterintuitive; however, the psalmist declares, “Precious in the sight of the
Who are these faithful servants (“saints”
In so doing, we find ourselves in the company of Jesus, who is “chosen by God and precious to him . . . . For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame’ ” (1 Peter 2:4–6). When our trust is in God, our departure from this life is precious in His sight.
We don’t know who penned this psalm, but we readily identify with the writer’s humanity. A life-threatening ordeal—perhaps some disease or an event in battle—had brought the author face to face with death and closer to God as a consequence. “The cords of death entangled me; the anguish of the grave came over me” (Psalm 116:3). This terror prompted the author to call on the Almighty: “Then I called on the name of the