Monday, August 12


On July 23rd, Adam came down to help me bring groceries into the apartment.

"How was your day?" he asked.
"Great!" I said. "I got so much done, and the day just flew by. I know it's nice hear when days go well, and today went really well."
"Wonderful!" he said.
"How was yours?"
"Just ok?"
He or I changed the subject, and I trusted he would tell me eventually what made the day just ok. It came as we put the groceries away in the privacy of our home.
"I don't want you to become concerned, but David has been missing for 40 hours."
"Our David?"

David was an RA last year on Adam's staff and was slated to return to RA staff for his second year. He was a quiet guy, with a deep resonant voice. A popular soccer player and an excellent student, He had struggled to make his hall his own, but was succeeding bit by bit last year and really was excited to return to the hall.

Adam explained he had been hiking in the Swiss Alps, on a little vacation from working with MTW in Spain as an intern. I pushed away fear and anxiety and became a little irritated that he would have kept hiking while the other two people hiking with him turned back.

I thought of so many times in high school when prayer requests would come through our group of friends for some high schooler or another getting lost in the mountains. They always returned. I knew, having lived in Montana for most of my life, when it gets dark on a mountain, you hunker down, try to stay dry. When daylight comes,  you find some kind of water and follow it back down to a town or where it crosses a hiking path. I presumed David would know to do so. I presumed he was ok.

News would come 30 minutes later, as we were driving down Lookout to get some dinner. My dear friend texted me "Do you know about David?"
I sent a cryptic text back, not sure if I was spreading gossip or getting information.
She responded, "They found him...He's in heaven."
I called her and asked 3 times if she was sure. "Yes," she said, "I'm close friends with his sister." She had just gotten off the phone with David's sister and brother-in-law.

Adam stayed up until 3 am that night calling RAs and close friends of David's, including two RAs that were in Africa and Peru. We were in a daze the next day.

His family had the funeral July 29th. Adam estimates that about 1,000 people were there. I couldn't go, and won't be able to go to some of the memorial times that Covenant College is planning. It's strange to mourn someone who I still feel is supposed to return to us this Thursday.  Strange to mourn someone who left 3 months ago, and is supposed to be somewhere else. But who is supposed to come back. To know that he won't be back, but not believe it.

I'm sending the following poem to his mom and dad. It has been a comfort me since Addie found it in a devotional and wrote it in a bible for me years and years ago.

Even for the dead I will not bind my soul to grief;
Death cannot long divide.
For is it not as though the rose that climbed my garden wall
Has blossomed on the other side?
Death does hide
But not divide;
You are but on Christ's other side!
You are with Christ, and Christ is with me;
In Christ united still are we.


Addie said...

I'm so sorry, Hannah. I've been thinking about your post saying "grief is all around us," and that's just been so present on my heart. I don't know if the world is getting bigger and I just know more people, if we're in the labor pains of the second coming, or if this has been happening all along and my heart is keen to the loss, but the loss has been staggering to me. Simply staggering. I keep reminding myself of God's sovereignty. I keep reminding myself of His love, that He loves His children (MY children) more than I do. That He is is control, and He is so big that, somehow, just as you said even earlier, if we knew the ending, we would choose this, too.

I love you. Those truths, though hard and bitter at times, buoy me up when I'm tempest-tossed.

Laura Ward said...

Oh Hannah, my heart is heavy with the weight of the loss you & Adam and all of David's family and friends are grieving right now. There's an unreality to death - an inherent sense of disbelief - that testifies to the truth that we weren't created for this. And when the RAs come back Thursday & David isn't with them, I know you'll feel the loss even more keenly.

I agree with Addie that it seems the sadness in the world is increasing - it takes my breath away. I find great comfort in the knowledge that God is with us in our grief and He promises a day when we will be reunited with Him and those we love, and every tear will be wiped dry.

Until that day, I pray we are comforted by His love and able to rest in His peace that passes all of our understanding.

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