Your Son, Jesus came this season,
with the proclamation of angels
that He came bearing a message
of goodwill and peace to all, everywhere.
Certain days, though... certain moments,
we stare deeply into the mystery
that is life and death.
How, it seems, one day we can be "traying" on a snow covered hill,
(on "borrowed" trays)
blowing off steam as our first round of finals (EVER) drawing near,
and the next collectively mourning the loss
of a husband,
forces us to acknowledge both the unrelenting march of time
and the reality we are fragile, mortal beings.
Lift up we pray Amy, Nick and Katie.
Shower upon them your grace and love...
Grace that might only be apparent as time marches.
Love which is shared by good words, long hugs, shared tears,
and in the powerful embrace of your Holy Spirit.
For we know more understand the power of your love
anymore than we do disease and death.
With only our faith and belief as our foundation
let us put our faith in that love,
so we might someday understand the words of the Apostle Paul,
who tells us that nothing, not even death,
can separate us from this love we've found.
Love so great, that a life would be given,
so we, individually might know forgiveness,
and collectively realize restoration.
For the sting of death this day is sharp,
but in the light of eternity,
we trust that someday we will realize victory over it,
as we share the gift of Your paradise.
Father, we give thanks for the doctors, nurses,
technicians, and support staff at the various medical centers
where Dan's disease was fought tooth and nail.
Thank you for the gifts of healing
you have put in these wonderful people.
Give us the strength and the will
to continue to pray for and support all those
who seek new, effective ways to treat forms of cancer
that take from us, loved ones much too soon.
In all things,
let the bonds formed over Chuck fries,
and in innertube waterpolo games,
and late-night mud football,
and years after graduating,
catching up with emails, Christmas cards,
and the occasional phone call,
where we ask, "have you heard from (fill in the blank)?",
provide a bit of comfort in this time of trial.
For bonds formed, while stretched
need not be broken.
Let the warmth we still feel
for friendship offered so long ago
be felt especially this day,
as we grieve Dan's loss.
Dan Menster, died Wednesday at the age of 39. A 1990 graduate of Miami University, he married Amy (Corbin) Menster, who is one of "The Gang", a group of friends who hung around with one another while haunting Miami's campus in the early nineties. The group, of which I am proud to be a member, still maintains contact with one another until this day. Dan and Amy have two children. Donations in Dan's name can be made to the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, Duke University Medical Center or to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation.