The news came pouring through the phone early that Christmas Eve morning. In sobbing bursts Diana cried the news to Janey, “Marcus was killed last night in a car wreck!”
“What!?” said Janey incredulously. “How could this be?”
But it was true. Our dear friends in Omaha lost their 20-year-old son in a one car accident. Authorities said he died at impact so there was no pain; he was here then he was gone. Gone! As a father it’s mind-numbing news. Thankfully, Marcus was a young man solid in his Christian faith; and while we know that Marcus is experiencing inexpressible joy, we still sorrow—and we remember.
I have great memories of them as our neighbors. How the boys, Marcus, their oldest son, and Ben, my oldest son, would play baseball in the cul-de-sac. They’d see who could hit the ball all the way to the main street or make the coolest sliding-from-the-knees-catches in our front yards. I remember all those Little League games—the winning, the losing—and the fun! I remember those darkening spring evenings cheering the boys on. I remember the sleep-overs, the bickering, and the laughing. Oh those were good times!
The last time I saw Marcus was when he came from Omaha to visit us in Keizer. Marcus, Ben and I drove up to Seattle to see a couple of Mariners games. Chris, Marcus’ dad, scored great tickets right behind the Oakland A’s dugout. It was so cool, we could hear some of the players’ conversations and I got to sit and listen to Ben and Marcus debate various strategies. We even saw one of those rare triple-plays!
Now Marcus is gone and I cry out to God, “now what?” Well, here’s my sense of God’s answer to my cry. Marcus was a life lived well. He left with no emotional wreckage in his wake. He left with family and friends knowing he loved them. He left with a good plan for his future. He left already having led several young people to life in Christ. And he’s left us with a great legacy because of a life lived well.
Yes, his life was brief. And even as our souls are saturated in sorrow now, our tears will dry and we will carry on with our lives. Even so, we can still rejoice in the fact that he is with Jesus forevermore! We can celebrate the life he lived among us. We can cherish the memories he leaves. And we can be inspired by his legacy, may our lives become lives lived as well as his.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Marcus; yes, we sorrow now, but in time his memory will live on via a living legacy of a life lived well, of a life lived for Jesus Christ; and we know that one day, we will see Marcus again!
Thanks for pouring out your heart, Craig . . . and for directing our attention to the One born in Bethlehem – the greatest burden-bearer and care-giver this world has ever known. The One Who was horrifically executed on a wooden cross planted in a hillside in the outskirts of Jerusalem – and three days later resurrected in a triumphant defeat of death. Now, all of us who know Him – even as Marcus did – take comfort in the truth that one day there will be a trumpet blast, a loud shout – and in that moment our faith will become sight. In the twinkling of an eye we will be like Him – for we shall see Him as He is. Looking forward to seeing and meeting Marcus then, too. What a reunion that will be. My friend, until then I hope you will keep on writing – at least until that day, and then most likely, forevermore! Blessings, Joe.