But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
-I Thessalonians 4:13
He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.
This Monday, I had the privilege to take several of our underclassmen to the Northview HS graduation. As I arrived back from that joyous event, I received a phone call from a friend and colleague who serves in youth ministry at a nearby church. A family had just lost their daughter over the weekend in a tragic accidental fall, days before her graduation from Johns Creek HS... could we help by hosting her funeral?
I knew immediately we probably could and that our community of faith and staff would be eager to provide the space and support. I had also already recently met the young woman's Young Life pastor because a few of us Johns Creek area youth ministry workers have been gathering in our Youth Garage for monthly breakfast to pray for our kids and community. We believe in the Church being one body of believers active in many places and we believe it's important for us to be connected.
That connection gave me hope and support in a moment when I was reeling with this awful news. And as I tried to process it and think what needed to be done, my friend Emilio said to me on the phone, "She went to sleep and woke up at the feet of Jesus." I knew that we would all be grieving this week, deeply. But I also knew there was truth in his words. That we mourn but not as those without hope. We have faith in the promise that she is walking with God, and that our God will wipe every tear. Tomorrow, and for many weeks to come, I may not know the right words. But I'll cling to that truth as we all struggle together in this loss.