“Losing People”

It’s such a paradox. I don’t think there are words to clearly descibe the emotions. It’s that deep bittersweet feeling of losing someone really important in your life, and also rejoicing in their personal victory over death.

Last week, 2 Very Loved People (VLPs) in my life here in Arthur, left this world, to begin anew with God.

Sandy Dolan: an amazing trailblazer of a young woman and a saintly teacher of God’s Word as an older woman. The number of people whose lives she touched and changed seems to be endless. I just happen to come along toward the end of her earthly life, but still I reaped all the blessings of her spirit for God and for children. And we are ALL Sandy’s children. Even now … or maybe even more so now … she continues to bless us all. After all, as Sandy’s children, we now have our own personal Sunday School Angel in heaven. And as hard as the loss of her earthly life is, we now have her spirit for eternity. Let’s apply it wisely.

Lucas Otto: one of the most happy-go-lucky superstars I’ve ever encountered on a ballfield. Lucas had the precious and rare gift of liking everyone on the team. And showing it! Does that sound simple or naïve? It’s neither. It’s difficult and profound. And it’s such a beautiful thing to be around … the way Lucas would joke around and share that great smile (one that I’ll never forget), not just with his friends on the team, but with every player on the team. He united our starters and upperclassmen with our rookies and subs. How? He liked them all … and he loved them all. Lucas was a gifted young man who never put himself above other players. He made friends with all of them. And that’s why so many opposing players and teammates of Lucas – are hurting over this loss. Let’s hold all of them, as we hold Lucas’s family – close to our hearts as we keep lifitng them in prayer.

Funerals are hard for me to attend. My heart breaks to be with so many heartbroken loved ones of the deceased, and the overwhelming expressions of love and gratefulness for one life. Funerals show our true nature – in the end, it’s all about the love, isn’t it? People have many names for funerals these days … for me, it’s more like a love-fest. I just wish we would have more of them for the living, rather than waiting till death comes.

Despite the sadness of losing people in our lives, people that we have risked to love with all we have, there is still, and always, light in the darkness. For everyone. Death is merely a human experience. Earth is the only place that it happens. Sandy and Lucas have left earth, and death, behind. They are free from all that would hold them back from God. And as Jesus told us, there’s a room just for us, too, when we leave death behind. And that day, like these past days, will be full of sadness for those left behind, but then as now, God will bring victory over death, and peace to His people.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

Pastor Bob Silvanik <><