Yesterday morning at my accustomed hour I got out of bed, came downstairs to my study and switched on the light. Nothing happened.

I went to my desk and turned on my desk light – nothing. No light in the bathroom or the kitchen. I looked outside – no street lights; the neighbour’s porch light, which is always lit, was dark. Slowly… it takes time for my brain to operate in the morning… I began to realize that we had no power  No tea, no heat, no light, no internet, no email, no portable phones.

I felt stranded, helpless.

It seems that around midnight Thursday, a woman driving near my home had lost control of her car and hit a power pole. She was unhurt but the damage to the pole cut power to over 2,000 customers for over twelve hours.

Some vital link in the connection that carries electricity into my house had been severed. The intricate system that carries the invisible power upon which I depend for so many parts of my life had been broken.

Later in the morning I had a phone call to say that a long-time member of our parish had died. A connection had been severed.

One of the vessels that had carried the invisible, often unacknowledged, power of life through this world had come to an end.

It would have been strange for me to conclude when I tried to switch on the lights yesterday that, because the lights in my house were not working, electricity does not exist. And yet that is the conclusion many people draw from physical death. Because the vessel we called Ted is no longer present, the hidden animating force of his being, was never real.

After dinner yesterday, I was in Home Depot with my wife. The salesperson who assisted us was wearing a bright orange apron. On his apron he had a large button that declared boldly, “I am empowered.” I looked carefully at the button to see if it said anything more. But that was the whole message. There was no indication what he is “empowered” to do, or by whom, or what, he is “empowered”. This salesperson walking the floor of Home Depot all day helping customers with their endless questions is simply “empowered.”

I realized as I stared at his button that this is the most important thing we need to know about our lives. We are “empowered.” We have dwelling within us a Power we cannot perceive by our normal physical senses, but that animates the whole of existence.

I have spent my adult life trying to help people reconnect with their awareness of that invisible Power that brought their bodies into existence and surges through all of life. It is not an easy task affirming and helping others affirm the presence of an invisible Reality at the heart of life. It is hard to grasp the reality of electricity when the lights no longer go on at the flick of a switch.

But this morning I did not hesitate to turn the light on in my study, or to power up my laptop. I did not awaken filled with doubt about the existence of electricity simply because yesterday one of the links in the connection that carries power to my home had been broken.

When we gather to celebrate Ted’s life next week, we will affirm that the Power that carried his physical presence in the world has not ceased to exist simply because the little temporary connector of his body is gone. We will boldly proclaim our faith in the invisible realm that is the most real and lasting dimension of our being. We will entrust Ted to that invisible reality with faith and confidence that he continues to exist in that other dimension that empowered his being throughout his physical life.