April 1st, 2015 Posted in sermons | 19 Comments »
That is the age my son Christopher David Laurie would have been today if he were still on this earth.
That is really hard for me to imagine, but of course it’s true. It’s been seven years since I last spoke with my oldest son. We were very close, and spoke every day—so to lose contact suddenly and with such permanence is life-altering.
When we heard the news of his death, I wondered if I could survive such a thing. There is no way to put into words what it is like to have your child die. Those who have experienced it know what I am talking about.
There are two very hard days for those who have lost children, and for that matter, loved ones in general: their birthday and death-day. So, today, on an important day in our lives, I want to tell you a little bit about Christopher.
He was a very handsome boy (he got that from his mother) and full of personality and humor (perhaps he got some of that from me). He loved to surf, skateboard, and just live life to its fullest. He was a very talented graphic designer and artist and loved to keep up with all that was happening in the world of art and design.
Christopher loved his mother, Cathe, and his younger brother, Jonathan, as well his father. Christopher loved his wife, Brittany, and the apple of his eye, his little girl, Stella. The hard drive of his computer is filled with photos of his little model, who was only too happy to pose for another photo for Daddy. He loved his unborn daughter, Lucy, and so looked forward to her arrival.
Most importantly, Christopher loved Jesus Christ, and though he had a time of “prodigal living,” he returned to the Lord and was following and serving Him when he was unexpectedly called home to Heaven. That was the hardest day of our lives. No day even comes remotely close to it.
People ask if you ever get over the loss of a child. The short answer is no, you never get over it. But you do get through it—in our case with God’s strength and help.
It seems like when a life is shorter than what we expected, when there is so much unrealized potential, it is the worst tragedy, and in some ways that is true. But in other ways that is not true. Because as Christians we believe in an afterlife. And there, dreams that were not realized on earth can still be realized.
When the Bible speaks of Heaven, we discover it is a place where we are doing things. We are feasting, talking, laughing, worshipping, working, building, and much more. Sometimes I wonder what Christopher has been doing for the last 7 years. I will find out in time, when I join him in Heaven.
Our love for each other will not be weaker then, but stronger, sweeter, and purer. There will no more be a break in our love than there is a break in our thoughts. Death breaks ties on earth, but renews them in Heaven.
As Easter approaches we are reminded that death is not the end. At the cross, and then through His resurrection, Jesus defeated death. Paul tells us, “‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55–57 NIV).
Death died when Christ rose.
We miss Christopher so much. But we thank God that one day we will pick up where we last left off. Until that day, happy birthday Christopher!