David "This past weekend was... words are hard to find for the goodness of it. Epic, life giving, rejuvenating all come somewhat close. Andrew, Steve, and Corey all came out from MB to visit me and my daughter. I am among the most blessed of men, a David with several Jonathans (yes, that includes you, Jonathan Barg!). Thank you so much, my much loved friends, for coming. Here is a letter written by Corey to Rachel" (with his permission).
I want you to know that I, my wife Karen, my four kids (Josh, Sara, Jessie and Cheylee) and our extended family have loved you and prayed for you since before you were born. A few days ago I came to visit you, along with some of your daddy and mommy’s friends. You spoiled us all with your smiles and your determination both of which are much more amazing in person than in pictures but, just between you and me, you are beautiful in pictures too. I will always remember the Sunday morning when I was getting ready to preach in the church where your Daddy is a Pastor. You smiled at me so brightly and quickly that you took my breath away and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to speak at all. I remember thinking that if everyone had seen smiles like those there would be no need for any more ‘God words’ or any words at all.
Much later that Sunday, just before we had to say goodbye to your family and get ready to drive home, you had a difficult time. Your determination to live your life was a reminder that brokenness is not going to get the last word when your Father restores, re-members, and recreates the world. On that Day, grace, joy and holiness will speak. Rachel, thank you for so powerfully reminding me of that. I might not be the same from here and I think people will be happy because of that. If anyone ever asks me, I will make sure to mention that you were my teacher the weekend I visited you. Jesus, who loves you, this I know, said that little children are the leaders in His Kingdom and you’ve been leading lots of people into living more honestly and faithfully. You remind me of your mommy and daddy when you do that. Soon I will put what you’ve been teaching me into a magazine so you can reach even more people than you have already. Here is part of what I am learning from you that I want people to know.
The Father of Life once said that the angels danced for joy at creation (Job 38). I can’t help thinking that maybe our joy at life, at grace, in relationships, in love, in community is an echo of that original joy. Our joy in the middle of wreckage and brokenness does not mean that we ignore or belittle the wreckage. It means that amongst the ‘flowers and the garbage’ (Cohen), the flotsam and jetsam of some long ago shipwreck (Gen 3), we find, on the spindrift, a Message of hope and of Rescue. We wait anticipating, but, in the meantime, we would do well to listen to our lives, trying to hear clues of the coming Rescue – clues might just be hidden in things like a shared glance, little life-changing smiles and a determination to live even when our bodies are broken. Everything is broken but grace makes some strong at the broken places.
Rachel, I already know that anything I tell people could never be as profound as what you have already told us, and what you are telling us still. But I promise I will do my best.
Oh, I almost forgot. I looked into your eyes after church that Sunday and I was trying to figure out whether you looked like your Mommy or your Daddy. The truth is that you looked a lot like both of them but most of all you looked like Rachel – the girl created in the image of the Father. You reflect Him beautifully and purely you know.