Friday, September 30, 2011

Steve Roy, January 31 1990 - September 30 2011

How much death and disease does it take for us to think seriously about the end of our days? At the risk of turning this blog into an obit column, I'm penning my thoughts on a shocking death in our family yesterday. Steve Roy died in a motorcycle crash last night in Kerala, India in a collision with a truck. He was 21 years old and the only child of his parents. I don't have any words at this time to describe the impact of this on his near and dear ones.

A friend of mine came through Brain Tumour 14 years ago and currently works in a mission organization dedicated to seeking justice among bonded laborers in India. Her recent comments on her Facebook page about this:

Its been 14 years....2nd Sept 1997, I underwent a surgery to remove a brain tumour...my only hope and assurance was that if I died I would be with Jesus and if I lived I had a purpose to live for the one who overcame death through His resurrection-Jesus...Who sustains me and has given more than I could've ever imagined or dreamt of!

I responded to her a second time after Steve's death:

I'm re-reading your post and trying to derive comfort from what God has done for you and through you. As I see people I know dying one by one and I get shocked into questioning God I need to hear a testimony like this to help me understand his goodness. Thanks again for saying these words.

Her response to this:

I know what you mean, I see suffering and injustice everyday and did question God's goodness but the perspective of seeing God from eternity and his provision to change our destiny eternally helps me see this as a momentary suffering...gives me the joy and peace to enjoy today and hope does not disappoint, it strengthens faith and keeps fear away...if there was no eternity and redemption then I would be shattered...remember the Trichy trip when we sang the song Rev 21:4 -He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.

We will never make sense of death and will always be shocked at it this side of eternity. On the other hand we will continue to live as if we will not die any time soon. Every time it happens to someone close to us we are filled with doubt and fear. And as Christians this still happens when we know and cherish the fact that he will wipe every tear away. I don't have any words to describe this reality that conflicts with our experience.

In a later, more advanced age, human beings may find a way to save cases like Steve's, and using technology give people like him a new lease of life, at once making the person more and less human at the same time. We do our best to cheat death, but as surely as the world is fallen, death overrides attempts to delay or eliminate physical atrophy, repairs to the mind and body and all other efforts we put in to further life, not knowing that eternal life is something else entirely.

Sandra McCracken's song, 'The Tie that Binds' was written about a little girl who died. The words express with pain what I can't at the moment:

The sorrow of a friend
From a long way we stand
Grief is second hand
But I'll send my tears in a locket

Amelia smiles under lights & wires
Thorns for every flower
We number every hour
And live the days we are given

Oh, the pain
It makes you feel alive
Oh, the broken heart is the tie that binds
And I pray to God, these things will be made right

When the morning shines
On tear stained eyes
Oh we shall overcome
The Father gave the Son
To break the curse we are under

Oh the pain that no man can escape
Oh the sting of death, the empty grave,
And I pray to God where comfort has no place

When our tired eyes look through the veil
The colors are so pale but we raise high the sail
And call the winds to carry us home
Call the winds to carry us home.

1 comment:

Mr.PJ said...

Steve was my younger brother.... i was shocked myself when my mom called me to inform about his death.... even now, i still can't hold back my tears.. it's been two long days and I'm still reading the chats and text messages we used to exchange. I have in my memory his face from the recent photos of his, but not the one of him lying in the casket, and i'd like to remember him as the ever loving sweet, caring, witty and jovial brother.

It's like life has stopped suddenly for all of us in the family ... i will always cherish the numerous sweet memories we had had as lil kids growing up together in the same house, Steve.

Hoping GOD will give ample strength to Nisha Aunty and Roy Uncle to bear their loss.

Miss you Bro... you are in heaven. i'm sure of that.

Love Paul.