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Jesus Needs New PR

A mournful hope

Yesterday my friend Danny’s body was found. Or parts of his body. Four months have passed since he was last seen alive. Swept away by flood waters, Danny’s final moments were spent fighting for his life. Next to his body was a wallet and cellphone.

Last night I watched as his sisters and mother held hands and thanked God that Danny had been found. There was joy and sadness in their tears. Peace. Closure.

Danny was 39.


I miss him.

Last week, another person I knew as a child–Darlene Beiler–died. Cancer took Darlene away. Four, maybe five months ago doctors told her she was sick. And she lived until last Tuesday. I hadn’t seen Darlene in years. But once I knew her well. He father was a deacon. Her Mom was generous and friendly and she loved Shackley dietary products and carab. Her older brother was quiet and strong. Her younger brother was athletic and full of personality. All good people. But Darlene–she was an angel. To know her was to love her. A brilliant talent for playing piano, a smile that lit up dark places, and a big compassion for those around her, Darlene was a gift. Though I haven’t seen her in nearly 20 years, you don’t forget Darlene. You can’t. She was the kind of person who made you feel good about being you.


Darlene was 40.

For now, I mourn Danny and Darlene’s passing. And I hope to see both of them again someday on the other side.

Because I believe that God makes things right, that one day all that is old and broken and sad and torn and shattered and dead will be made new again, will be made alive.

That’s what I believe.

That’s what I hope.

It’s a mournful hope.

At least, for now.

A joyful hope will come…

Comments read comments(18)
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Carole Turner

posted September 27, 2010 at 9:51 am

I am so sorry for your loss and their families loss. Death is hard.

I just recently wrote on my blog about the three year anniversary of my friend George’s death on September 13th he was a dear friend and I miss him a lot.

I pray that God’s peace and love be with all who mourn.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 9:55 am

Matthew, I am so sorry for your loss. Death always hurts, but it seems the young especially so. I lost one of my oldest friends two years ago to cancer. We were 37. She had two young boys. It breaks the heart.

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John Dobbs

posted September 27, 2010 at 9:59 am

There is value in sharing our losses, companions in grief walk through familiar valleys … and I’m sad with you today over these losses.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 10:00 am

I’m glad they found your friend, sad he did not make it. I like the term mournful hope. I have had that feeling for many friends who beat me to Heaven. Praying for you and the families and friends of both people.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 10:15 am

Matthew, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Praying for peace and comfort for you and both families.

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Bob Chapman

posted September 27, 2010 at 10:28 am

Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints,
where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.

You only are immortal, the creator and maker of mankind; and we are mortal, formed of the earth, and to earth shall we return. For so did you ordain when you created me, saying, “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints,
where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting. (The contakion for the departed is sung later in this video.)

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posted September 27, 2010 at 11:01 am

I’m sorry for your losses. Your words at the end really grabbed me. Thank you for sharing. Holding onto that hope with you…

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Travis Mamone

posted September 27, 2010 at 11:07 am

I’m so sorry to hear this. You are in my prayers.

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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted September 27, 2010 at 11:13 am

no matter how much religion you throw on it, death still really sucks.

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John Wallace

posted September 27, 2010 at 11:23 am

Powerful post man.

Im sorry for your loss and you have my prayers for you and your friends families.

God Bless.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 11:32 am

beautiful tribute to your friends, matthew.

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Julie Schaal

posted September 27, 2010 at 11:32 am

Beautiful words expressed here. Grace and peace to you and Danny and Darlene’s family.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Sorry for your loss. I prayed for Danny during the flood. It is good his family and friends can have closure.

I feel your hurt and share your hope.

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Carrie Young

posted September 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I grieve with you during this time, Matthew. I lost a friend from highschool last week. Although he graduated 2 years before me, my brother and he were in same class so I knew him better than most 1986 grads. He died of melanoma. He left a sweet young wife (37) and 2 small boys, ages 4 and 5. He was 42 years old. I’m holding onto that mournful hope as well. And, yes, Charile’s Church of Christ, death does stink.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Christians live amidst many paradoxes–grief and hope being one of the bigger ones. Well written post. May God meet the grief of all involved with, as C.S.Lewis called it,severe mercy.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I remember you mention him being missing. God rest them all.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I’m so sorry to hear that Matthew. Death’s a hard one, espcially tragic deaths at young ages. My friend David (pastor of a church) died this year, of leukaemia, aged 42.

My thoughts are with you and with theirs, as you work through the stages of grief.

Jonathan from Spritzophrenia

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Kathy Pride

posted September 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Yes, death sucks. But my soul responds to the phrase “mournful hope.” May that hope sustain you as you mourn the loss of two friends who we believe were much to young to leave us here.


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