Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This is the column I most dreaded, the one I knew would come. On November 19, 2011, my dad went home to be with the Lord. Weeks before in this blog I noted that I could not hold on to my father. Watching him dissolve into the man he became, watching him shrivel to a hollow shell of the man he was, I realized that holding him in that condition, if somehow possible, would have been worse than cruel.
Dad is gone, but he is not lost. I understand Vance Havner's reply when his wife died and someone said to him, "I'm sorry to hear you lost your wife." Havner answered, "She's not lost. I know exactly where she is."
A friend wrote after Dad's passing and reflected upon her own loss, saying "I still can't believe I've lost Dad forever." My heart goes out to her. As I read her thoughts, I said to my self, "You are more right than you know. But my dad is not lost. I will see him again."
This is the heart and soul of all that is Christian doctrine. It is the hope that sets God's people apart from all else - this sincere and absolute conviction of the reality of heaven, the reality of hope, the assurance of eternal life.
I love my dad and I miss him. His passing is still too fresh to fully comprehend. I don't know how I will do without him, but I know one thing for certain: he is not really dead. "He who lives and believes in me shall never die," Jesus said. "Do you believe this?"
Indeed I do. I have a new reason to go to heaven now. A new reason to live for Christ (not that the first reason isn't enough), a new anticipation for what lies ahead. Jesus lives, Dad lives, and so shall I. Far beyond the next few years, we shall be reunited never to be separated again. "When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun," we will have "no less days to sing God's praise" than when we first begun.