Honoring and remembering a special person

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dear God,
I would have loved to view the scene in Heaven when Stephen Ford flew in Friday. Down here, it’s still difficult to believe he’s gone. Stephen packed so much life into the 28 years You gave Him. In the words of my son Geoffrey, he was “funny, brave, hardworking, smart and fought a courageous battle.”
Stephen was like a brother to Geoffrey. They were together from elementary through high school. They played countless games of football, basketball and baseball and enjoyed the company of a close-knit group of friends. It never bothered me that Geoffrey spent so much time at the Ford’s home. Stephen’s parents, Gary and Karen, are two of the greatest models of authentic Christianity I know. You have abundantly blessed our family with amazing friends.
Seven years ago, Geoffrey stood in Stephen’s wedding. Stephen moved his young wife Krista to Georgia to be near the two sisters he loved so much. Karen and Gary joined them, and as the years passed, many little blessings were added to the Ford family. Geoffrey has always admired the love and devotion Stephen had for his wife, his son and his two daughters. Stephen’s huge heart also held dear his parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews. Stephen was scheduled to walk in Geoffrey’s wedding. Now, on Geoffrey and Ashley’s special day in November, one bridesmaid will walk alone, for no one can replace Stephen Ford.
I’m sure I speak for many when I say that Stephen’s four-month battle against cancer did not end the way we wanted it to end. Left behind are family, friends and so many questions. Questions I can’t even begin to ask. It’s not because You can’t handle my questions, Lord. It’s because I can’t. They do not fit into the frame I’ve created for You or me or life as I know it. My thinking is too finite, my understanding too limited. And even if You answered my first question, it would lead to another, then another and, well, I’ve chosen a different route.
I’ve buried my questions on that little hill in Hoschton, Ga., where Stephen’s earthly remains were laid to rest. I am so grateful for the life of Stephen Ford and the impact his life had on my family. I praise You for the blanket of grace You have placed around the Fords as they walk through this difficult time. I honor You for the strength and dignity bestowed on that precious family as they worship and trust You to provide comfort.
Thank You, God, for reminding
me of John 20:29. Thomas needed
to see the risen Jesus, place his
finger where the nails were, put
his hand in Jesus’ side to believe. Jesus complied with Thomas’ request and said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
I have not seen Jesus, yet I believe in the power of the Cross and His triumph over death.
I did not see Stephen’s healing manifested on earth, but I fully believe his life continues in Heaven where he is whole, healed, alive, grinning that Stephen grin and freely worshipping You.
I did not witness Stephen’s entrance into eternity, but I believe.
Loving You forever,
Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.