Jessie and Eric died this week — a couple of seniors, involved in the Navigators campus ministry at PSU, came to Calvary a few times, but actively involved at New Hope Community Church. Jessie was an architectural student who helped make a model of Harvest Fields and our future facility. My daughter Sarah was in a Bible study with her.
Eric and Jessie were on their way to a wedding and there was a car accident. Not the way it’s supposed to happen is it? Somebody goes off to war, we understand the risks. We hear the word cancer and we know we may be facing the condition of dying. But two young people enjoying time together on the way to the celebration of life that we call a wedding? They are not supposed to start the day living the last moments of life.
I won’t pretend to understand the “why” and I’m convinced that even if there was a “why” and someone could understand it — it wouldn’t make a single friend or family member feel better. My faith and the Bible do not always specialize in the “why” but they do offer much in the “how.” How do we make it through junk like this?
I think of two things that might help me make it through junk like this…
1) Live in the moment. I cannot choose how I will die, but I can choose how I will live. I do not know how many moments I have left in my life, but I can choose what I do with the moments I have. It’s a cheesy question — until you are faced with the reality of death — but what would you do with today, if today was your last? What actions? What conversations? What experiences? What are you doing with your time?
2) Live for the moments to come. What I mean is that my destination affects my journey. Believing that “the best is yet to come” shapes the meaning of my moments in the here and now. My faith in the resurrection of Jesus gives me hope for a future that extends beyond death. That hope in what is to come, empowers my life now. Jess and Eric believed that the best was yet to come and now they know it is true. Where are you placing your faith?
About 10 days ago, (July 2) in another post I wrote these words,
I don’t feel compelled to understand the full depths of the mystery of why crap happens – why bad things happen to good people.. or for that matter why good things happen to bad people. But I will say that life is a gift and every day that we are given should be lived with the sense of God’s calling us into life – his will. And for the Christian, death is a defeated enemy that seeks to steal joy but in the end is nothing more than a doorway to more life.
As a parent, I can’t imagine what Eric and Jessie’s family are going through at this moment… words are not adequate. My prayers are with them. But for the little that I knew them and from what I have heard from others who knew them better, I say thank you to those parents for the part they played in raising two young people who lived in the moment and lived for the moments to come.
In heaven we will dance with whole hearts, until then we are all just dancing cripples…