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An Untimely Death
May 8

Just a couple weeks ago I read about someone who was battling a serious illness. I had never met this person, but I had read some of her blogs and postings and liked what she had to say. I had never met her, but for some reason I felt a connection to her. So, when I read that she had died, at the age of 37, it was shocking. Her husband had posted a few updates on her condition and treatments, and I talked about Rachel with others who had read her stuff too, and I think we all thought she was going to get better. Now her husband and two kids have to find a new way to live without their wife and mother. 

Just before I sat down to write this, I was making small talk with a guy in the restaurant where I was having lunch and he shared with me that his son died at age 49 six months ago. "I think about him every day," he said. "A parent should never have to bury their child," I replied. "It’s a horrible tragedy." I don't know this guy at all but I'm thinking about how painful it has to be to go through, and continue to go through, a loss like this. It shouldn't be this way.

A few weeks ago, we had Easter Sunday and for many folks it was a celebration. But then again, we set it up that way. Flowers and musicians. New outfits and baskets filled with candy. But for Rachel's husband and my new friend Wayne, celebrating might be the last thing on their mind and it might even seem impossible to celebrate. Every day might feel like Good Friday and although we have this belief in Easter, the resurrection and eternal life; the loss and emotions that accompany such a loss, might seem overwhelming. 

Maybe that's why I like to compare the first Easter to our Easters of today. For most of us, Easter is a day of celebration. It is a joyous day and we may celebrate with others well into the afternoon and evening. But the first Easter was starkly different. Jesus' friends were paralyzed with fear and secluded themselves in locked rooms. But even then, Jesus showed up. In their fear, Jesus showed up. In their disbelief, Jesus showed up. And even after Jesus showed up and his friends continued to struggle with fear and sadness, Jesus kept showing up. We struggle with loss, sadness and emotion (we don't always know how to respond or what to do) but thankfully we have a God who continues to show up, especially when things are incredibly tough, and the loss seems overwhelming. In a world that likes to rush from Good Friday to Easter, we have a God who will stay with us if Good Friday lingers and lasts longer than a few days. I pray for Rachel's family and Wayne's family that they will know God continues to show up, even in the darkest of days, and with God they (we) will find the strength to keep on living.

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness will never overtake the light.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris 

Last Published: May 13, 2019 5:20 PM