The picture Laurie took of her autumn wreath.
This morning I was looking at Facebook while waiting for my oatmeal to cook—always a dangerous thing to do because a glance at Facebook and half an hour is gone. I saw a post by my ministry partner (and friend of about 40 years), Laurie. She had made a lovely fall wreath for her front door. Laurie has an artistic gift for making wreaths. So I commented on it, noting that her dog, visible in the picture, seemed to approve, too. She made some remark about the dog and making a trip to Wisconsin to scatter Don’s ashes. Don is Laurie’s husband, a genuine seeker of God with a brilliant mind.
I turned off the stove before making my reply: “Wait! What? I hope it was the ashes from Don’s BBQ that you scattered.”
Wisconsin seems a long way to go to get rid of BBQ ashes!
Then Laurie messaged me to explain that she had inadvertently omitted the word “dad’s” so it was his dad’s ashes, not Don’s. I had wondered how on earth I could have missed such life-changing news, but happily, Don is still with us.
In fact, Don commented on the post, saying that he was the one who did the driving for the Wisconsin trip.
I don’t think I’ve ever had such low and high emotions in the space of just a few minutes—and all before breakfast. I had been devastated at the news of Don’s demise and then not just relief, but sheer joy at knowing that he hadn’t died after all.
I pondered these emotions as I ate my oatmeal: for me this had been like a resurrection because in my mind Don’s death had been very real—at least for a few minutes. More than most people now I believe that I can say that I know how the disciples felt at Jesus’ resurrection: joy unspeakable.
So I posted on Don’s wall: Congratulations Don! You’re the first person I’ve ever witnessed being raised from the dead.
To which Don responded: Ha! That was so funny and at the same time kind of disturbing to read. Be well friend.
I hated that he had been disturbed about being thought dead. I imagine that it is sort of creepy to have someone out there who is convinced that you’re dead. So I responded: Hey! Having lost you and gotten you back in the same day, I treasure you all the more! You stay well, OK.
Laurie has edited Don’s “death” out of the original post, so there’s no record of it any more. But for me it was very real—even if only for a few minutes. But equally as real for me is Don’s resurrection. And someday all the dead in Christ will rise and we will meet them in the air. I’ve already tasted just a little bit of how joyous that reunion day will be. God is good!
 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, NIV.