But tonight it's hard to remember those things, or if I do, to not feel somewhat guilty about them. Their importance recedes to trivia, and mocks the truly crucial. Because we just got the news that one of our WHM kids, Tommy Gilliam from Charlottesville via Ireland, died. I think both Scott and I felt this as a punch in the gut. Tommy was Luke's peer, also starting college this year. His parents were our college-mates. He and Luke hung out at our mission retreats. We met up with him when we visited Charlottesville. He was a great young man, faithful, polite, smart, pleasant, hard-working, Kingdom-oriented, world-aware, courageous, multi-cultural. There is nothing but a fine line of circumstance that made this their tragedy and not ours, he was on the roof of a building and slipped and fell. One false step and his life was over, no second chance, no rewind. In my nightmares I imagine this phone call, this irretrievable loss, but I know I can't even begin to touch the surface of what his parents are feeling now.
As we head into Easter, our only comfort in life and death, that Tommy and we belong body and soul to Jesus. That He has not just smoothed over death, or transformed death, but He has conquered and reversed death. The sudden, unexpected, untimely death of a vibrant 19-year-old makes that reality a lifeline to which we all cling, the sure Resurrection.