One of my closest friends and her husband founded a Christian school in New Jersey a few years ago. To illustrate just how close I mean when I say "closest friends," let's just say we were together during our Junior High youth group days a la mullets and short OP shorts, ardent bordering on obsessive devotion to the 1984 men's Olympic gymnastics team (Bart Conner!), were college roommates in the late 80's, and served as bridesmaids in each other's weddings.
After Jack's accident, my friend asked if she could share his story in a school chapel service. I said of course, as long as she wasn't trying to present Jack as perfect, but just a special kid who loved God and others. This spring she did just that. You could have heard a pin drop as shared about Jack's life and death. She read a Prayer of Thanksgiving he wrote, and many, many people were touched by what they heard.
But the neatest thing happened on her way into the service. She was praying and listening to Christian radio as she arrived at the school. A Chris Tomlin song called "I Will Rise" was playing. It deals with death and victory over the grave. Pretty fitting since she was going to talk about Jack's new life in heaven.
Here's the chorus:
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagle's wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise
Listen to the entire song here
As she pulled into the lot, she saw a sight she had never seen at the school before, even though she was there every day:
Yep, an eagle. A bald eagle. It was still there when she left.
Rare bird. Rare bird. Rare bird.
Love my kid. Love God's creativity in sending us comfort. Love you for caring about us.