Saturday, December 5, 2009

Papa, Our Long Talks Are Not Over

I am writing this as one who has just recently lost a dearly beloved father-in-law. Well, to be more precise, what I lost was the ability to interact with him through the agency of our physical bodies. Human relationships this side of glory are founded on laws of physics that must not be transgressed in order for life to ensue, for communication to take place, and hence for relationships to flourish. Death is the stake driven through the heart of the physicality of humanity, the distortion that mars God's ultimate design for man to be embodied, and the fruition of sin. For where there is sin, there then must be the tears of years of shared humanity abruptly torn asunder, bringing with it the grief and convulsion of soul that marked even the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. John 11:33—35).

Me and my family are allowed to mourn for papa, for he was God's gift to us—being instrumental in the bringing forth of my wife into the world and raising her up in a manner that has benefited me as her husband and our kids as their mother—with his felicities transcending kinfolk, spilling over to the many people he has touched through the preaching of the Word, his social advocacies, and his long, drawn-out story-telling (he was a voracious reader and had an opinion on almost everything under the sun), which have all now been temporarily suspended.

But then our lament must be short-lived. As children of God, redeemed by the invaluable covenant blood of Christ, death is now but the doorway into an eternity of seeing the Lord face to face—but it is not to be romanticized for it is the curse of God upon sin, and the curse which He Himself bore in behalf of those whom He has chosen from among the lot of mankind even before the dawn of time. The nature of death is a dichotomy: it is the harbinger of doom for those who have shunned the Lamb that was slain even before the foundation of the world, and the herald of delights for those who through the Spirit have put their faith, through grace, in Christ—and it is in the latter consideration that we find the consolation that cuts short our sadness.

I may not have often appreciated papa's penchant for verbosity, but I know that in the future age of glory, I shall again converse with papa, with a perfection of dialogue that must necessarily mark the absence of sin, in the flesh. We love you, papa!

"When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

'Death is swallowed up in victory.'
'O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?'" (1 Cor. 15:54—55)


  1. Sorry for your loss. A pastor friend of mine once told me how he wished he could talk to his mother and tell her how much he loves her once more. Knowing he wasn't able to do that. He said he figured out a way to contact her. He would ask Jesus to tell her.

  2. Please accept my condolences. I am sorry for your loss, but rejoice he is with our Lord! What a reunion that will be.

  3. Thank you, Cheer and Warren, for sharing your papa with us. Our deepest condolences go to your families.

  4. I enjoyed your blog and your openness. I'd like to invite you to read my blog and maybe even join if the Spirit leads you.

    continue to be blessed

  5. Thanks, Ed and Gregg. Though our knowledge of each other is only through the Web, your condolences have meant much.

    Ptr. Nollie, I can't thank you enough for your support. That was a great sermon.

    Thanks, Ms. Rhonchell.

  6. There is an old country hymn that sometimes knocks on my door. I don't know if you have ever heard it but, it has more meaning as I get older.

    "This world is not my home I'm just passing through
    my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
    the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
    and I can't feel at home in this world anymore"

  7. Not feeling at home in this world anymore—this is one of the roots of sadness for a Christian. Everything about him wants to leave, and yet earthly loved ones can, and do, tug at him. But the love of the Lord must transcend all other loves.


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