Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This past week has been a tough one at our church and in ministry. We have been grieving...heartbroken...and on our knees. Last Thursday we lost a faithful servant. Bro. Stephen was going about his normal day at work when he suddenly died...no warning...no illness. My heart broke for his precious wife and their family.

This sweet man taught every one of my children in Sunday School. Two of them got to be in his class for two straight years. He loved my kids...they loved him. He connected with them, and they always felt special. I can remember dropping my kids off, screaming and crying, and he would gently scoop them up and calm them down. He was a special man...and that nursery hall will never be the same.

We took the kids to the funeral home the night of visitation. I was worried about how they would respond...nervous about what they would say...hoping they didn't act like a bunch of hooligans! Shelby, my sensitive one, sweetly asked Mrs. Barbara about what happened...she wanted the details...wanted to know when it happened...how long it had been. She had the sweetest, most sincere look on her face while she talked. Her little lip poked out...ready for those tears to come. She cried when I told her the news...and I love that Shelby cares for people. Charlie and Addie gently hugged her and let her know they were sorry.

Jesse was enamored with Bro. Stephen. Kept looking at him while he talked to Mrs. Barbara. He just turned 3 and doesn't understand death...he asked her why he wasn't talking...we explained that he wasn't there anymore...that he was in heaven. I told Jesse..."he's talking in heaven now...better yet, he is singing in heaven". Mrs. Barbara shook her head and said "he sure is". Bro. Stephen was a singer and sang in our choir for as long as I can remember. Jesse kept saying over and over again..."I don't hear him singing Mommy...I wanna hear him sing". I smiled thinking about that day when we will hear him sing again...and it made me ever so grateful for my salvation. Grateful for God choosing me...for my hope in heaven...for the cross...and for little boys that wanna hear a dear man sing in heaven.

We lost another giant this morning. Bro. Daryl had fought an infection for over a week now. His family has been vigilant, sitting by his bedside...bathing him in prayer. Our church has been on our knees praying for healing! He was finally healed this morning. Maybe not in the way that we anticipated, but healed none the less. He will no longer be in pain...he is with his Savior now...face to face! I can't imagine the morning he had! My heart breaks for his precious family...they are pillars in our church. Faithful people...faithful followers. His daughter was one of my first teenagers here and is now a friend of mine. His wife is a vital part of our youth ministry where she serves over our drama team. She has been my co-partner in the nursery for years. I always loved to sit and listen to this lady as we watched children run around. She would tell me stories about her life...lessons she has learned...taught me about love...and life and being a wife. What a testimony she has been to the Lord all these years.

While we sit here with grief enveloping our hearts...tears in our eyes...and prayers on our lips, I will thank God for these men's lives. For what they have taught me and blessed me with...and I will remember Jesse and singing in Heaven. This song makes me think of them...thanking God this morning for His grace!

There'll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;
And forever I will be with the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
What a day, glorious day that will be!

Isaiah 26:3,4
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock."

1 comment:

Chad Miller said...

Stephen was the ONLY guy that Hannah was ok with, and he was also the only one Christian would calm down for too. The man had a gift with those kids... but I'm pretty sure it was simply he genuinely loved them and loved serving in that ministry. He will be greatly, greatly missed.