Remembering Rachel 3-31-14

~  ~  ~

 For the family and close friends of dear Rachel S.
whose sense of loss must dwarf my own.

~And in honor of Rachel~

~  ~  ~

The whole congregation prayed as one for a miracle – for Rachel’s healing.
Many prayers have been said for Rachel and her family.
I don’t know why those prayers don’t seem to have been answered.
Maybe they have, I think they have, but in a way we can’t understand because our wisdom is lacking.
I have no answers for why things happen as they do,
but I do know The One who does.

He asked me to write for Him,
so once again I sit here in a sort of cauldron of amazement mixed with sadness,
and loss mixed with joy, as He feeds me words and I try to copy them properly;

as I try to do this thing that’s not as easy as anyone thinks,
I know it’s not as hard as if I were alone . . .

I sit here and write my heart out for Him and for you . . .

~  ~  ~

A Touching Moment

Over a year ago, on the Sunday when the whole congregation lifted up Rachel in prayer, I saw her standing by herself after the service so I walked up to her and held my hand up, chest high, in the “high five” position. Her eyes met mine with a quiet, gentle, questioning look, but, without hesitation, she raised her hand to mine. What a special surprise it was, when, instead of “high-fiving”, she placed her warm hand perfectly on mine and tenderly held it there for several seconds, while her eyes became clear and bright, and full of life, and she gave me one of her small, heartfelt smiles. In that slight smile was a certain “knowing”, a certain loving compassion, a certain comforting, a certain closeness. She was comforting me! That was the essential Rachel! It was only a small gesture, but she gave me a tender moment of herself – from her heart – that has lasted; one of those rare human moments that will stay with me and be cherished because, through Rachel, God revealed something more of Himself. I can hardly wait to be where Rachel is now, where all of us who know Rachel, and Jesus, will be able to press our hands together, embrace, and rejoice within His loving presence.

~  ~  ~ 

Speaker For A Sister

I read a book  (second in the “Ender” series by Orson Scott Card) in which a man, when called upon to do so, “speaks” the life of a “departed” person publicly. This “speaking” involved the Speaker’s researching the life of the deceased through opening records and interviewing people. He looked for The Truth of the subject’s life no matter how painful that truth might be when he spoke it, for in The Truth is healing, and in The Truth is freedom for the living.
The truth is that, although we were friends and fellow believers, I’m not sure I knew Rachel well enough to “speak” for her. The only Truth I can try to speak is His Truth. Here’s some truth: All of the people I know, and know of, who did know her better than I, said that she was loved, and/or liked, and/or highly valued, and/or cherished by them all. 
She was beautiful in the all the various ways we think of beauty.
She sang beautifully, especially during worship.
She was adventurous.
She liked a little non-conformity.
She liked to wear exciting colors.
She was intelligent, witty, and kind.
She would be the first to admit that she was far from perfect.
She was a gifted artist who also wrote well.
She liked learning and teaching, and did both well.
She loved people and enjoyed helping them.
She was a thinker, and a doer.
She loved and followed Jesus, and would want to tell me that I should have listed this first.
She would have been right once again.
I was notably impressed by the dignity, and quiet humility,
and faith that she maintained throughout her illness.

That alone was a huge testimony of her faith.
~I am a poor speaker for her.~
I’m glad that there are many others coming forth who are better-qualified than I.
For the testimony of her life, as she lived it with God foremost, is a wonderful, powerful thing,
even as is the testimony of her death, (“the death of a saint is precious in the sight of the Lord”)  and it needs to be spoken often and well.
She was that kind of “bigger than life” sort of person. I heartily agree with my friend, who wrote publicly:
“The world is a better place because of her life, and a much poorer place because of her death.”
I, for one, am humbled and thankful that I had the privilege of sharing a tiny part of her life,
and to be able to, in my tiny way, “speak” for her here.
Mine is only one of many lives that is richer for having known her.

~  ~  ~

Of God, Grief, and Glory

On a highly personal note, I have a personal “revelation” that He seems to want shared:
I was sitting by myself in the back of the church, excited to be worshiping in His house again, when The Lord began sharing His Spirit with me. (If you have questions concerning this, I can’t adequately explain it, not at this moment.
It takes a kind of knowing, so please bear with me. Just go with it.)
He shared His excitement with me, conveyed that He was glad I was there when and where He wanted me to be, but He was especially excited that very soon He would be bringing Rachel to Himself – that’s the way He expressed it.
(I had been told earlier that Rachel was barely hanging on to life)
He wanted to comfort me in my sense of loss and concern.
He poured into me, strongly, how much He cares for Rachel; how deeply He loves her;
so much that He sent Jesus to shed His blood for her and give up His life for her, to save her life – her second life – the most important one, by far. He showed me how He had redeemed her for this day, her day of glory, and forever more. Do I need to describe the peace and comfort that settled upon me? How I wept when I realized that He was not only speaking of Rachel, but of you and me, dear reader?

I hesitate to share such intimate personal testimony.
Could it be misunderstood? Misused?
I want to keep it to myself. Selfishly? Maybe.
Defensively? Sure.
But it’s all I have to give you, so
He says I must give it.

I write my heart out for Him and for you . . .

~  ~  ~

This next closing poem was inspired by something Rachel wrote.
I dedicate it to her memory:

Why A Blue Sky ?

Why is the sky blue?
Why am I me, and you, you?
Why do we live, and breathe, and move?
Why do tears fall as they do?
Why, Some things are not for me to know!
Except that I can ultimately say
That in God’s kind goodness,
In His wise reason,
In spite of our rudeness,
To enrich our every season,

  Out of His great love,
He intended it all to be just this way.


(I can also say that I’ll soon know why,
when I have my own glorious day,
Though I may have glorified Him poorly in my life,
May I glorify Him well in my death)

~  ~  ~

If she were here, I’d say “See what you did Rachel?
See what you inspired in all of us?”

And she would flash that beautiful smile and probably wink
and smack me with a real “high five”.

With love,
Missing you, and
Looking to see you soon, Sister.

~  ~  ~


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Andy Moore
    Apr 03, 2014 @ 15:55:49

    Len, this is beautiful and uplifting. Thank you for sharing and “speaking” for Rachel like Andrew Wiggin :). I always thought that was a very deep expression and one that would be helpful for all of us. I’m glad you’ve taken that inspiration and spoken on Rachel’s behalf.


    • Gloryteller
      Apr 03, 2014 @ 16:34:55

      Andy, you never fail to amaze me!
      You’re welcome, and I thank you for your insightful, encouraging comment.
      I heart-ily agree with you, bro.

  2. Kay Dickey
    Apr 03, 2014 @ 14:31:04

    So eloquently and lovingly written, Len. You truly have a gift that blesses the people of God. I didn’t know Rachel very well, but I’ve known her family for over 40 years and her grandparents all my life. The service was so uplifting and comforting today. It really blessed me.


    • Gloryteller
      Apr 03, 2014 @ 14:49:17

      Thank you, Kay! You always have been a helper and encourager. I agree! We are royally blessed. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment (twice!)
      As teachers are useless without students, writers are useless without readers. Blessings upon your house.

  3. Wren Jae Whiteseven
    Apr 03, 2014 @ 08:20:58

    I loved this Len. Thankyou for sharing your heart.


    • Gloryteller
      Apr 03, 2014 @ 09:17:46

      Thank you, Steve and Wren for reading, taking the time to comment, and “getting where I come from”.
      Nothing is more encouraging than comments!

  4. Steve Bennett
    Apr 03, 2014 @ 07:54:54

    Len, a very good and heartfelt remembrance of Rachel.


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