9600 E Mill Plain Blvd Vancouver, WA 98664  (360) 892-5520

A Time to Weep

The fog is heavy this morning, soaking everything. Even the spider webs sag under the weight of heavy droplets, threatening to snap. I usually enjoy the damp stillness of such mornings, but today it feels like sorrow.

I got a call last night that Denise Marshall died unexpectedly. I was stunned, and it took me a moment to absorb the news. Our dear sister has been battling health problems for a long time, but I had no idea her life was in danger.

Denise was about my age, but her fifty years of life were much harder than any I have known. She battled drug addiction in her younger years, but God rescued her in a marvelous way. One of my favorite memories of Denise is when her Teen Challenge group did a special service at Evergreen, sharing testimonies and songs of God’s amazing grace. I can still see her face as they sang like only those who have been delivered from bondage can.

This last decade has been painful, plagued by a variety of health problems, with multiple stints in the hospital and rehabilitation facilities. Denise was once part of our Saturday night service family, but it has been years since she has been well enough to attend. I find it nearly impossible to fathom how much pain and discouragement she endured.

Denise is now the fourth member of our church family to die in just over a month. Only one was over 60. Like many, I like to fix things; to say or do something that solves the problem, or at least makes it more bearable. But I can’t fix this. I can only mourn. As a family in Christ it is our calling to weep with those who weep. It doesn’t solve anything, but it is a sacred privilege.

Pastor Toby

Categories: Evergreen Connection