When my father died, I grieved. My father died on a Sunday morning, early. His hospital roommate told us that Dad had spent his last night—the whole night—praying softly for his family, person by person, before dying peacefully in the early morning. Even though we’d known that he would die soon from bone cancer, and knew that he was eager to be home with the Lord, it was still a shock. It was still too soon.
Death is like that: it always surprises us and it interrupts our lives. We stop, and we grieve.
The life events that we celebrate with our students here at Talbot are usually joyful, life-filled milestones: engagements, marriages, babies, commissioning services, ordinations, new jobs, etc. Once in awhile, though, we journey unexpectedly with one of our dear students through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. This has been our experience these past 6 months as one of our ISF students has died from cancer.
I have been sitting in the Gospel of Mark for several days, and The Tale of Two Daughters in Mark 5 has caught my soul’s attention. You remember how the last half of the chapter goes: Jesus has just demonstrated his authority over creation by calming the storm on the sea for his disciples, has demonstrated his authority over evil by casting out a legion of demons from the Gerasene man, and now has once more crossed the sea and landed on the shore where he is met by a great crowd of folks.