I lost my dad over a year and half ago.
The problem is that statement isn’t true. But it feels true.
I haven’t lost my dad, and he hasn’t lost me. I will never lose my dad. It just feels that way. He’s not lost to me we’re just separated at the moment. One day we’ll be back together. That’s the promise of the gospel. The trouble is that the separation is so deep, it’s so long, and sometimes its too much. Death is separation. Death is wrong. And there are some days more than others that I wish I could bridge that abyss called death.
On Sunday I felt so at home at our church. I preached about what I care about. I saw people touched by God. I was touched by him. And as we drove home Krista turned to me and said, “I saw and heard your dad so much in your preaching today.” That was a sermon my dad would have preached. I knew that when I was preaching. It was the type of day I would have liked to just call up my dad and talk about the service like we used to for close to 20 years. I wanted him to be able to share in the beauty of grace and acceptance I found on Sunday with me.
That’s what makes the separation so hard. It’s the “with me” part that I miss. Because at some times dad’s so close. I’m preaching, sharing, teaching, or just living and it seems like he is right there. Like I could sense him, pick up the phone and talk to him, or see him in the crowd smiling. This is why I feel like I’ve lost my dad. This is why separation isn’t a strong enough word for the pain of death. Death is evil in any form, at any time, and in any way. Paul says death is the last enemy. I know that enemy.
But while death may be the last enemy; death is not an enemy that will last. Because death has already been beaten. Jesus died to destroy death. Or more theologically put: Jesus dies to kill death.
So separation is here. But it won’t last. Death’s time is running out. So I may be separated from my dad, but he’s not lost. I’m in the waiting time. And I guess when we finally see each other again – I’ll just have lots of sermons, Sundays, and services to talk about. But at that point we’ll have time to catch up…