Monday, November 23, 2009

A Life Well Spent

Today, in approximately a half hour, a great man of God will be laid to rest. Taken too soon from his earthly home by a terrible accident, he leaves behind his wife and four children. I did not know him personally, and yet the legacy he's leaving behind is so hard to ignore and I've thought many times of his family this past week as they endured the most horrific of nightmares.

My husband and I often sat behind this family in church. As young newlyweds then, I was captured by this tight-knit family, their four children about the age of our children now. Many years have passed since then, and yet less than a month ago I found myself once again sitting behind this family in church, while home visiting my parents. Their children much bigger than I remembered, I watch as he stood next to his daughter, with his arm around her. Even from behind I could see the love and pride emanating from his body. It made such an impression on me I can still picture the scene clearly.

His untimely death and the resulting rallying of the community has left me much to think about. The first thing that comes to my mind is his wife and children. The pain they must feel almost paralyzes me when I think about it. Putting myself in his wife's place, I really do not think I could go on. How does one do that? How do you get out of bed in the morning? How do you face another day? How do you BREATHE?

Secondly, I am amazed at the outpouring of love by their community in this family's time of sorrow. Quickly scanning Facebook, I've seen offers of prayers, support, fellow grieving, pictures, memories, stories, the list goes on. So many people this 6th grade math teacher and golf coach impacted. So many lives that are forever changed because he crossed paths with them. It almost makes me sad to think that it's usually this way - that people rarely ever know the impact their lives have made until they're gone. Seeing this unfold has inspired me to try to let people know NOW. When they've made a difference in my life, to not wait until it's too late.
And finally, I am more grateful than ever to know that this is not the end for him nor does death have to be the end for anyone. I could not walk through this life on earth believing that once it was over, that's it. Am I terrified at the thought of one day prematurely losing my spouse or one of my children? Absolutely, to the point where it makes me physically ill to dwell on the thought. Do I think that believing in heaven makes the loss of someone OK? No. I believe it's OK to NOT be OK. I think it's OK to be angry, to hurt, to grieve, to ask God why. But I also know that He has peace that passes ALL understanding. And I know that someday this man will be reunited with his family in heaven. And until then they will be held up by God's grace and peace.

2 comments:

  1. My daughter was in his class, actually she had him 1st and 5th hour that quarter. I noticed those loving gestures my self, and know it would be difficult with 4 kids. But our God is strong when we are weak, and she has a lot of support, help with fixing the house and stuff.

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