I looked at caller id and felt a shadow of foreboding. My sister never called on Sunday afternoons. Was something wrong?
“There was an incident at the lake,” she said. “Jon’s gone.”
We’re never ready to part with a loved one. And while long illnesses present their own challenges, they prepare us to say goodbye. But to be hale and hearty one minute, jumping into a lake to swim, and gone the next defies comprehension. Sudden death jars us.
If Jon could have chosen his exit plan, I think this is exactly what he would have chosen. Fully alive one minute, having fun with friends and family, and more alive the next in the presence of God. #loss, #grief Click To Tweet
While my brother-in-law’s sudden death has stunned our family, I also see God’s mercy. Jon was an energetic man always moving. If he could have chosen his exit plan, I think this is exactly what he would have chosen. Fully alive one minute, having fun with friends and family, and more alive the next in the presence of God.
A Life of Purpose
Jon and my sister Diane founded a ministry called The Great Exchange to reach university students. My son spent an afternoon at the University of Georgia with him. In that one afternoon five students prayed to receive Christ with Jon.
Just a couple of weeks before he left this earth, he spent a week vacationing with four of his five children and ten of his eleven grandchildren. Pictures of Jon in a pirate hat leading his brood reflect his energy and love.
Jon was one of the last people I expected to die. Losing the man who lived with such purpose and energy reminds me to treasure each person and day God gives me. Why sweat small things when I’m surrounded by people I love? Like Jon, may we live to have no regrets when our name is called.
Jon left this earth with a splash. But his life still ripples through eternity.
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8 NLT).