REMEMBERING CHRIS, MY DEAR “CHRIST-BEARER
“This past weekend was so overwhelming on so many levels. Our family was surrounded by many, many beloved friends. Even our parents were wrapped in the love of Christ as our church family and friends gathered around them with the affection of Jesus.
The memorial service for Chris was everything I had hoped and prayed it would be. Tito shared my heart exactly when he expressed to all gathered there my deep, deep desire to not only honor Chris’ life, but also bring great glory to our God in Chris’s death.
I could write volumes of how the Lord was intimately involved in the smallest details both in the planning and the execution of every aspect of this service. Perhaps at some point I will share in greater detail just some of the many ways the Lord was showing His love and care for not only our family, but to His people around us involved in helping make this day possible.
What I want to give you instead–because I know there were many kind friends who would have liked to have been there but were unable to–the thoughts I shared about Chris at the service.
Thank you for coming today to Chris’ memorial service. For some of you, it took no small effort to be here, so your presence is especially appreciated.
I know Chris is experiencing a joy in heaven no human can ever know in this life, but looking out at all of you, I do wish he could be here in the flesh with all of us just now, so HE could enjoy your presence and friendship, as I know full well he would. He loved being with people he loved…AND he always enjoyed a good party besides.
In fact, for many years he would throw me a “surprise” birthday party. I know he loved to bless me, but I think he did it too, just so he could have an excuse to invite a pile of friends over for an evening of fun and fellowship.
For Chris, you see, it was so natural to have a deep love for his family and a strong affection for his friends and those he served through his work for HSLDA. That’s because he first had a passion for Jesus, his Savior. It was the love he knew God had for him that motivated him to love others. And he did this so well.
I came across a letter yesterday morning Chris wrote back in 1993 that articulates just a little his love for God, for us his family, and for God’s people. He writes, while on one of his trips to a homeschool conference to speak–
Here I am again on another plane with pen in hand. I’m still amazed at how God has blessed man with the ability to fly! God is so kind to us, even though we hardly deserve it…When I got on the flight I stopped and prayed for a long time. I thanked the Lord for His mercy and strength once again. How His mercy endures forever. I’m so tired, but I’m so content in Him.
Being in this state for the first time, it was quite an adventure. Two homeschool moms and their children drove me around to see some of the sights. About an hour into the trip we stopped at Independence Rock. It was this huge, round rock where the settlers traveling the Oregon Trail would stop and rest, then climb up and carve their names and the date.
On top of the rock you could see all over the state. I also saw a lot of names of settlers from the middle 1800s.
Later, I even rescued an 8 or 9-year-old girl who froze halfway up the rock. She was crying and her parents were not nearby. I went back up and brought her down. It turned out she was a home-schooled child! You never know!
As I reflect on the last several days of this trip, I’m humbled by His grace. The people here at the conference were so kind to me–I received many handshakes, hugs and encouraging pats on the shoulder. So many people said they were praying for me and HSLDA–they were so thankful that we were standing in the gap to protect their freedoms. What a privilege this job is!
I’m so thankful to share the message of God’s good news all over this nation and encourage parents as they raise their children for Him.
I’m most thankful, however, that I can return back home to be with my family once again–that is the greatest reward I can have on this earth.
I love you so and miss you,
It is impossible for me to relate to you the rich treasure of our life together these past 25 years. What a privilege it has been for us to be one–
to share the same gratitude for God’s kindness and mercy to us through Christ Jesus;
to have the same commitment to love and pray for our children, and give them the wisdom of God’s holy Word;
to enjoy together the gifts of family and friends, of God’s creation and of serving others; and
to encourage one another in the good news of the gospel, even in the face of great hardships and suffering. We have known that no matter what happened, God is good…ALL the time.
It has been Chris’ and my greatest desire the past 25 years of our life together, that whether in our life or in our death, Christ be glorified.
Chris has fought the good fight–not by his own strength, but by God’s equipping and empowering him. He has not only lived his life well, but has finished his life well.
And like those settlers on the Oregon Trail when they found Independence Rock, Chris has found independence and freedom in his Rock, Jesus Christ. And like them, he stopped to rest, and has now climbed up for a view from the top. And boy is the view great! He is Home in heaven where he always wanted to be.
And by the blood of the Lamb, Chris’ name, too, is “carved”, written in the Lamb’s book of life.
God has blessed man with the ability to fly, but for Chris, this time it’s Home to his Savior, where his joy has been made complete in the loving arms of Jesus. I so love and miss my dear Chris, but I am so happy for him, too, and look forward to that day when I too, shall fly Home to my beloved Lord Jesus.
Soli Deo gloria,
Tracy, for the Klickaclan