imageThis morning I opened facebook to read that a High School classmate has passed away. My heart is heavy. I hadn’t seen Mark in many, many years. When Heather and I first got married, Mark lived in the apartment below ours. We’d often see him in the parking lot and wave as we walked by. We were in High School when the first pair of Air Jordans hit the stores. For fun, our entire gym class decorated our shoes to create our own “Air Whatevers.” Mark had a pair of knockoff “City Wings” made by Pony. He colored his and called them “City Woods.” They were, by far, the best in our gym class. It’s funny what you remember. We laughed that day, but today, it hurts.

Today it hurts because a wife is without a husband and children are without their dad. Today it hurts because the dreadful disease of cancer could not be cured. Today it hurts because a classmate, someone my age, has left us all too soon. Today it hurts for all those friends that are close to him that walked this journey by his side. This is not how this is supposed to be. This was never in our mind when we made our own Air Jordans. This was never on our mind when we’d pass and wave in the parking lot.

The statement I’m about to make probably breaks theological rules. I’m not even sure of the verse that supports it. The truth is that today it hurts. Today I looked for something to cling to. Today I needed for something to make the memory of Mark and all those I know (and don’t) that have left us too soon at the hands of a dreadful disease make sense. So this is where I landed. This is what I hope and in many ways, believe.

There is coming a day, when those that “lost their fight” to cancer will return. They will return with their Savior and King. They will return as warriors complete, whole and strong. It will be a day when all that doesn’t feel right will be made right. The score will be settled. Cancer, sin and evil will finally meet their match. Victory will be claimed and restoration of all that has been lost will be complete. This gives me hope.

But today….it hurts.