Jesus Needs New PR

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…

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