Friday, December 21, 2007


We are still in Phoenix. We delayed our departure for the holidays to DC a few days. We learned that there was a chance that our friends would be saying goodbye to their mother yesterday. We wanted to be available for them as this would be an understandably difficult day. We were grateful for the opportunity to serve them and stand by them as they walked through the "valley of the shadow of death" as a family.
Joneen Ross passed away sometime early yesterday morning. We were grateful for God's mercy to take her and not to prolong her struggle. According to the doctors I work with in private practice, only 5% of people survive her kind of heart attack, and of those, most live out the rest of their days in a nursing home.
The tragedy is very raw and real. The Ross family now faces Christmas, and life, without their mother, wife, grandmother and mother-in-law. Death may be inevitable, but always leaves us with the reality of loss. My mother said to me:
"...your compassion is from the Father’s heart….i just read again this morning from John 19 that “near the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden”….there is always a garden near our sorrows…a place where “he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am His own”
Her departure is felt deeply by our community. She was a wonderful beautiful woman of God. We will miss her. But we are grateful that she is with her Savior. That is our deepest comfort and abiding joy in the midst of sorrow.

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