Sunday, December 12, 2010

I went to a memorial service for Rich Ferrell today. He was 52 years old when he died. I always knew him as Mr. Ferrell. As I get older, more and more adults I have known since when I was younger requests I call them by their first name, but I think Mr. Ferrell would have always been Mr. Ferrell to me. Not because he thought he deserved it, but because I know he deserved my respect. Mr. Ferrell was the type of person who made you feel special when you talked him, and welcome when you were in his home (and there was always a group of us from the youth group over at the Ferrell house.)

Over the years I have read various quotes or philosophic arguments about the length of one's life. Most are trite sayings such as, “It's not how long you live, but how you live that matters.” “The depth of life is more important than the length of life.” Or I guess God wanted them more.” Even St. Augustine was able to reason that man's life is exactly how long it was supposed to be, or something like that. Today, all those quotes are next to worthless.

There sure is a difference between knowing about loss in your head, and to experience it. Only a fool would show up to a memorial service and comfort the family by assuring them that St. Augustine's formula for the length of one's life was a compelling read. I don't think death is supposed to be easy. It is the most glaring evidence that sin exists, and that earth is not our final destination. Death is part of life and it sucks. But God is good, and we know that nothing escapes his overall will.

Take comfort, for life is possible because death has already taken place:

"’Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15)

It only takes one more death—from this earth—for us to be in the presence of our Savior's transcendent love!

Mr. Ferrell will be missed.


Suzanne Evans said...

52 is the age my daddy was when he died. I was 12. It is still not OK. It has never been OK. I dream he is still alive. I cry about the "would have, could have, should have beens". Satan gets his licks in when he rips a daddy from a girl's life no matter her age.
Or, so he thinks.
Thankfully, Christ's is the ultimate victory. And His will be the ultimate glory. But to diminish the dreadful impact of death is to diminish the effect of sin, and the glory that will be heaven.
I did not know about Mr. Ferrell's death. My prayers will be with his family as they traverse these difficult days.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honest "review" of the pain of the living at death.
52 is too young and that is all there is to it!
i am sorry for suzanne b/c it DOES suck.
my dad just died 3 weeks ago. we were not expecting it. i had lost my mom over 10 years ago to cancer. she was 62. her mom was 49. :(
even tho we burried my dad ON his 77th b/day it has been soooooo painful.
all the nice words spoken when someone dies cannot take away the sting of death. time and faith does that.
i am sorry for the loss of your friend, dan! Prayers for you and all who are mourning him
Connie Lukacs

Chally said...

I saw you at the service. Hope your doing well!

Uncle John said...

Dear Dan,
I appreciate your comments. Sometimes people do not know what to say & say the wrong things.
When Job lost his children & his 3 "friends" came to him they silently sat beside him for several days -sharing his grief.(Maybe they should have stopped there -considering their later comments)Though that is not what we do in our culture today,
I think it tells us that our presence & listening is most important for those who grieve loss.I grieve Dad's loss often.
Tomorrow would have been his 85th B-Day.He left a fine legacy for us
I hope I can use this "gift " we call life - to love & encourage those in my life. Death is Not the end.
Thank GOd.
We Love you, Dan
- Keep on keeping on. . .

beth malarkey said...

Once again Dan, I agree with you...death just stinks!!!