A Death Observed
Dr. Michael L. Ford
24 September 2007
“As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children's children;” Psalm 103:15-17
By the time I learned of the death of Stacey Gilley, the Holy Spirit had already spoken to a cousin gifted in flower art about the matter. She walks closely with the Lord and already knew my wife and I would want to send flowers. He even showed her exactly what would be on our heart to place. This all happened even before we knew of the death of this granddaughter of a pastor; friend from my youth on. Those who doubt God still works in people’s lives have never seen such things happen I suppose.
When Stacey was born, I was graduating from high school. I observed her life in letters from home as I wandered about the world, catching up on details after my body could no longer soldier and I finally came home to stay. In all those years her grandfather had seemed like an ageless rock, continuing on in the ministry seemingly unworn by the many sorrows he had attended during those years. It was when I came home I learned more fully how great had been the challenges faced within even his family during the years I was away.
There was another fellow, nearly two decades younger than me that I had also remotely watched over the years. I would spend time with him after my retirement. I had watched Bill, so much younger than I, have his health fail. But he would against all odds survive. Little could I guess these two people’s lives would intersect. That is, until just a few weeks ago, when I learned that these two were planning to be one.
Now, their plans are gone with the sudden end of this woman’s life. Two people who had found love in their middle age will never consummate their love. But I am thinking that in spite of the sorrow of loss, the survivor shall still rejoice in having known Stacey’s affection. Their brief time to love reminds us we never know how much time God will give us to love one another.
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113