After my son’s military funeral, my tears mingled with another Army Ranger’s mom’s tears. One week earlier, I was seated where Joan* now sat, hoping my son would survive multiple deployments to this war on terror.
Every time I talked with another friend Beth, whose son Captain Ian P. Weikel, died in Iraq in 2006, foreboding triggered deep sobs from within. Not wanting to intrude on Beth’s grief, I swallowed hard, blinked back tears, and breathed deeply.
But here I sat facing Joan, holding hands, crying over the loss of my son and her unspoken terror—her son might die, also. Fear dripped salty down Joan’s face.
The fear of death departed when my son breathed his last breath. Why? The hope of my son seeing his savior face-to-face became a reality. For, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. (2 Corinthians 5:8)
My words sharing my faith and the Chaplain’s sermon prompted Joan to blurt out, “I’m so over, Jesus.” My heart ached for her—for her Christian religion that wounded her and crushed her faith, for her search and misbelief in a myriad of mythical gods made of gold, silver, wood or stone, for her utter hopelessness.
I worried about this precious mom, If her son was killed, how would she cope?
The same way I’d struggle if haunted by shattered faith. I’d be distraught—inconsolable.
God Knows My Pain
Just as my heart suffers pain because my son died for our freedom, Jehovah Elohim’s heart agonized when his Son died for every person’s spiritual freedom. Now my son experiences freedom from death. He's attained his eternal future and hope for those who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ.
I miss my son terribly. My comfort lay in this assurance: My son rejoices in the Almighty God’s presence. I’m relieved that I no longer worry about my son’s safety, because Kristoffer rests in the peace and protection of heaven.
God, thank you that your Son laid down his life for his friends to turn darkness into light and our fears into faith.
My friend, Tiffany Stuart, created these two memorial videos for my son's memorial service to honor Kristoffer and his family and express our family's faith.
Life Celebration Video: Find Us FaithfulFaith Celebration Video: God and God Alone
“Our Home is in Heaven and we know that the earthly tent we live in will be destroyed. But we have a building made by God. It is a house in heaven that lasts forever. Human hands did not build it. During our time on earth we groan. We long to put on our house in heaven as if it were clothing. While we live in this tent of ours, we groan under our heavy load. We want to be dressed with our house in heaven. What must die will be swallowed up by life. So here is what we can always be certain about. As long as we are at home in our bodies, we are away from the Lord. We live by believing, not by seeing. We are certain about that. We would rather be away from our bodies and at home with the Lord. So we try our best to please him. We want to please him whether we are at home in our bodies or away from them.”
“Brothers and sisters, we want you to know what happens to those who die. We don't want you to be sad, as other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again. So cheer each other up with these words of comfort. Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”— 2 Corinthians 5: 1-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Philippians 3:20-21