It’s been a week since I last posted. I hardly ever go that long without writing something. Usually I feel like I’ll burst if I don’t write a little. This week has been different. Since Isaac passed a week and half ago, everything has been a blur. Those of you who either have walked this road with us, or have been down a similar path, you know what I’m describing. But these past days have reminded me of the unbelievable power of the church.
I’ve watched our church surround the Blackford family with love, care, gifts, listening, and presence. Our church has it’s ups and downs to be sure. But the past days have proven to me that God is working, and changing lives. I’ve seen love and care to depths that are life-changing. I’ve watched our students show compassion and concern that belies their ages. I’ve stood by and watched a father, mother, and sisters point to Jesus in faith and trust in the middle of the biggest loss and chaos they’ve ever faced. All of the family shared at the funeral, and all of them, with genuine loss and hope in their voices, pointed to Jesus. I was, and am, so very, very proud of every one of them.
I’ve also been grieving. I have lost students before, and it is always tough. But Isaac was closer to me than the average kid. He was one I knew would be one of my next leaders. I was excited about the coming years, to watch God work in him and his friends. I was right, I just didn’t understand the Schedule. Hundreds of people came to the visitation and funeral. Hundreds. Students have come to the youth group who have never been there before. They’ve continued to come. God is working in lives. He used Isaac far, far past anything Isaac ever comprehended, and is continuing to do so now.
But I still miss him. I woke up one day last week, and my first thought was “Ike’s gone.” Out of the blue, it hits me. I miss him. I don’t want him back. But I miss him. Isaac was a punk, who loved to give me grief. Now, he has punked me one more time. He made it home before I did. He beat me. Punk kid.
I’ll get him back the next time I see him.