I have been trying to find the right words to began this weeks blog, which I had earlier decided not to write. Mitch Napier passed this week, Monday to be exact and for family, friends and church the loss will be felt for a long time. Funny how we dodge the reality of such by our verbiage. We could have said he died but most of us try not to say the “D” word. Death….there is a finality about that word which is in a way strange. There are many ways to say it but the reality of the result is the same. The efforts of friends, family and church to ease the grief is comforting and welcomed. One phrase of comfort I do not agree with, “in time it will be better”. I don’t believe that, I do believe that in time you will learn to tolerate it, adjust and live life as expected. Grief, the burden of which is heavy on the heart, mind and body can overwhelm the best of us. I saw such grief in Mitch’s family, friends, and his church family. There is a difference between the grief of acquaintance and the grief of love; the burden here is the heaviest to carry, but the sweetest.

The totally un-expected passing of Mitch left everyone confused and asking all the usual questions. How could this happen, I just saw him earlier in the day, this can’t be happening, why?…..Safe to say we all want this not to be true, but it is and we will have to deal with it, each in our own way. The pain and grief of his son Nathan was heartbreaking. You could see his realization of the burden he now has inherited. He is his father’s son and those traits of responsibility, compassion and living as God had intended has been passed from the father to the son. God and family and investing in the lives of others, giving without expecting any return. Living the servants life and joyfully looking forward to the day he is called home. Nathan knows he can do no less, these things his father believed, taught his family and showed his friends by his actions every day of his life.

Ecclesiastes 7:1

A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.
And the day you die is better than the day you are born.

The Napier family and those who have had the privilege to know them have Faith and Hope for the days to come. For we know without hesitation:

Thessalonians 4:13-14
13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

Yes his passing will be a burden, but it will be a “Sweet Burden” whose fruition will be to continue to tell “The Story”, unselfishly serving others and finding peace at the foot of the cross. All of faith know a better day is coming.