Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Wake of Your Passing

The hymn that is song at every convocation and commencement at my school refers to this earth as "a world in ruins... by sin destroyed and dead." There is no better evidence of this carnage then the existence of death itself, and on Thursday, October 5, 2006 the desolation of sin was evidenced in the death of my friend and sister in Christ, Karen Sheffield. She was 23 years old.

Karen died as the result of an automobile accident with an 18-wheeler, and her mother and a sister perished with her. She was deeply loved by those closest to her, namely her church mates at Shively Baptist and her hallmates from Doulos and Apostolos in the Mullins Dorms. I wasn't super close to her, but we got to share some good memories together. We worked on the same recruitment team last spring, and that partnership gave me a great chance to get to know her better. She was a genuinely sweet person who was filled with the love of Jesus. She loved her Savior greatly, showered kindness on her friends, and faithfully served her local church. My last prominent memory of her came a few weeks ago, as a R.L. colleague of mine shooed me out of the office so that she and Karen could have some "girl talk." Whatever the problems they had to discuss that night no longer have any hold on Karen now, and we can rejoice for that.

This world we live in is often overwhelmingly bleak and distressing. The only hope for humanity is to know that what Satan intends for evil, a loving and sovereign God means for good, thus the psalmist can say "precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints."

I don't think the God's powerful reign over the circumstances of our day to day life lessens our pain. The whole of creation is said to groan under the curse of sin, and Job's knowledge of God's character didn't make his ordeal any easier either. (Need I mention Jesus?) The pain and hurt of life is very much real, but I feel that God's powerful reign over the circumstances of our day to day life gives our pain new purpose. We can look to Jesus who for the joy before Him endured the torment.

Karen, your death has led me before God's throne yet again, helping me to remember just how badly I need Him. I look forward to reuniting with you in Heaven.

We meet to part, but part to meet,
When earthly labors are complete,
To join in yet more blest employ,
In an eternal world of joy.


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