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Tuesday, September 14, 2010


It's hard to believe that today marks one month since we lost Claire. Though we have each carried on with much of our daily lives, I still hear from many as to the ways we feel her absence, in ways large and small. Just today I got this email from a former student, now a college graduate and newly married:
Claire was a wonderful small group leader and I remember very clearly the summer camp of 2000 when I was entering my freshmen year in high school. But even more than that I remember how wonderful, fun, and kind Claire was. Whether it was dealing with a bunch of squirrely Jr. High Students, co-leading Bible study with my parents, or seeing her at church, I will always remember Claire's smile and her heart.
Last Friday night I shared dinner with some very dear friends, and we spent the evening reflecting on our last visits with Claire and what those times were like. We laughed over her stubbornness, and we cried as we recalled how much she struggled on despite so many limitations. Though it was sad in some ways it was ultimately so good to be with others who knew her. There were no explanations needed, and we could just let down our guards and rejoice that we knew her and were loved well by her, shortened as the time was.

At Providence Hall, where I teach a class called Foundations of the Christian Faith, we are currently studying the Book of Acts for the month of September as an entire school. There is one lovely phrase from this far-reaching book (which is chock full of great stories, I might add!) that has stayed with me. In Acts 1:24 it says, "Then they prayed, 'Lord, you know everyone's heart...'" and in 15:8 it says, "God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them..." But in the original Greek, these two phrases are directly translated as:
  • O Lord Heart-Knower of all...
  • the Heart-Knower God showed them...
As I have shared with my students, just as we can call God "Father" or "Savior" we can call him "Heart-Knower." He knows our hearts better than we do ourselves... Thus he is able to translate our feelings for us, and will then guide us out of the sadness and loss, into more life. It is a great comfort.

John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim's Progress, once said, "The best prayers often have more groans than words." I am thankful that groans are enough sometimes.

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