Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An Unforgettable Week

We used to tease my dad about his obsession with reading the Dallas Morning News obituaries first thing every day during breakfast.  His reply was always the same:  “Just checking to see if I have to go to work today.”  Being self-employed, he seldom took the luxury of a day off.  Dad went to work almost every single day until the day he didn’t.  (It’s been almost ten years, and I still miss him.)

The truth is that my dad looked at the paper to see which of his friends and acquaintances had passed away so he could pay his respects.  The older he got, he more funerals he attended.  That’s just how it goes.  My grandmother used to say that one of the worst part about growing old was outliving all your friends.

This past week I felt like my dad, only I was checking Facebook  (instead of a newspaper) each day to see if different friends and loved ones on my prayer list “had to go to work” again, or if they had been promoted to glory.  Happily for them, but sadly for those left behind, several died last week.

First was the death of my friend’s mother, whom I had been praying for since she suffered a stroke that weekend.  Then the team leader from a short-term group who came down a few years ago lost his battle against cancer, passing away that same day. 

A couple of days later, a car accident in Paraguay took the lives of a woman some of you may have met at the WOTH retreat last fall, Julie Kurrle, and her six-year-old son.  Then without any Facebook warning at all, a neighbor across the road passed away.  Finally on Sunday a Sonlight forum friend lost her precious little daughter, Megan, to leukemia.

Of all of these, the most tragic are the ones involving the little children whose lives on earth seemed cut short.  I cannot imagine the pain and emptiness felt by the parents.  But then again, those are bittersweet when we picture Jesus welcoming them directly into his arms.

What was truly heart wrenching was the reaction of unsaved loved ones when my neighbor, Joel, died.  My husband and I were in their home when the first responder finally gave up on CPR.  I have never heard such despairing cries of agony and loss.  The wife and daughters were wailing out of sheer hopelessness, not understanding the implications of Joel’s profession of faith in Jesus.

Such an unforgettable week points me again to the reason we are here, the reason we make such sacrifices (like being thousands of miles away when my little granddaughter was taken to the emergency room earlier this week), and the reason we have hope even in the midst of terrible tragedy and loss.

So many have yet to hear the reason for the hope we have.  Here is a sermon that reminded me why we are here, why we do what we do, by  David Platt, author of Radical; it reminds me again of God’s sovereignty.

Here’s a song to minister to your heart, in case you’ve had a week like mine full of sad surprises. 

IRL* If you're reading this, then I guess you have to go to work.


  1. Love the song... I've actually had a difficult month myself spending nearly two weeks in the hospital with my newborn. This song was on constant repeat in my mind!

    Thanks for the great post... now I've got to get back to work! :)

    1. How's your baby, Nicolette?

    2. Much better, thanks for asking, Jamie Jo!

  2. Going to work in a few. Thanks for the reminder of one of our primary jobs! Letting our lights shine in the darkness.

  3. Ah, Jamie Jo, I'm sorry for your unusually emotional week. Bless you for your faith and trust and hope in the midst of it all. May God comfort you and give you His amazing peace. I send hugs and prayers.


  4. That is certainly alot of friends & acquaintances to lose in one week. It's interesting how these losses seem to come in waves. May you know His unique peace & comfort.

  5. I just realized that I never responded to your kind remarks this past week. Thank you! I should have made it more clear that none of these people were that close to me personally. Mostly they were folks on my prayer list. I'm doing fine. See you tomorrow!


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