There is a dear family in our church who is grieving the loss of a true “pillar” in the church, community, and – most importantly – home. My heart goes out to the Saunders family, as we know the journey ahead will be paved with a powerful mix of pain, celebration, struggle, and worship. This post is dedicated to Janel. You will be missed, and Heaven just got a little more amazing.


Today, Gracie cried. Just out of the blue.

“What’s wrong, Gracie?”

“I’m sad,” my 7-year-old replied. “Whenever I start to cry, I always think about Grandma dying. Then it makes me cry more.”

Wow. My mother passed away after a brief battle with cancer just over a year ago, December 2, 2010. (For the whole story, please feel free to check out Beautiful’s blog chronicling her journey.)

Since my mom spent her final months in our home, my kids had a front row seat of her suffering and struggle. And Gracie still grieves whenever she cries, even when she cries about anything unrelated to that sad day when we said good bye. Such a tender heart.

I told her that, because both she and Grandma trusted Jesus as her Savior, they would see each other in Heaven. I told her that Grandma wasn’t in pain anymore from the cancer that took her life, and that we should be happy that Grandma has victory.

While everything I told her was true, it wasn’t enough. Not enough to make it all better. Not enough to bring Grandma back. Not enough to stop the tears, to make the pain go away.

See, that’s the thing with death. No words can ever make the pain go away because pain and death are supposed to coexist. It’s supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to feel wrong. Death, and the effects of it long after the event, constantly reminds us that all is not right. We live in a broken, fallen world, where it never makes sense without the beautiful rescue story of Jesus.

As Easter approaches, it’s a great reminder. This is why Easter is so…so…worth getting overwhelmed with worship for our Savior, our Hero, our Rescuer.

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”….But thanks be to God! He has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”  

1 Corinthians 15:55, 57