Guns, Bombs and Cardigans | A short letter on life and death

Dear friend

The other night in our kitchen things got silly. Supper devolved into plans for a collaborative novel. Cam nailed the title: Guns, Bombs and Cardigans. (Clandestine geriatric mafia. Little old ladies – cardigan-clad – sabotaging train bridges and government buildings. The ringleader is ancient, short, and dangerous.)

That title keeps rolling around my brain, along with the conversations you and I have had about walking towards an unfamiliar future in which we’re older. Maybe wiser. But also, maybe weaker.

I keep thinking,

You know your birthday but only God knows your deathday.

Somewhere each year, we all pass the (advance) anniversary of our death. It’s not macabre. It’s actually sort of thrilling.



There’s still so much to do, and not one of us knows how much or how little time we’ve got left to do it. Don’t put off doing what you know needs doing because you’re waiting for more sophisticated ammo. Do all the things, guns blazing.

Also, maybe your great life’s work is less about the doing and more about the being. Who you are – and not so much what you accomplish. Shoot for being whom you were born to be, guns blazing.



Never mind the other shoe. The other bomb will drop soon enough. Don’t get scared or cynical. Just get comfortable with discomfort, and call it adventure.



It’s hard for me to picture what I’ll be like when I’m seriously old – assuming I get to be seriously old. I may die in a cardigan smelling of boiled old-age-home and cabbage. I may die with an unopened parachute strapped to my back.

But I’m trying to dress myself in the dreams I’ll want to wear on my deathbed.

I’m trying to live the answer to the question,

What will satisfy you, on that final day?

I think I’ll be satisfied to love and be loved, and to know I scoured my soul for whatever potential God put there and pressed it out to the edges of my destiny. That’s about it.

Friend, Jesus was there at your beginning and He’ll be there at your end which is really your beginning because He’ll usher you into something brand new and freakin’ glorious and it’s inconceivably exciting to think you’re another year closer to all that.

Whether you end up rocking a cardigan or a parachute, I reckon you could blow up a bridge if you had to. But I doubt there are incendiary maneuvers in your future because Elisabeth Elliot brilliantly said –

‘Of one thing I am perfectly sure. God’s story never ends with ashes.’

So much love,



. . .

Have a fantastic weekend!

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