December 20, 2011 by Stacy McDonald
Last night, James and I were contemplating the loss of our sweet friend, Denise Sproul. We know that while Denise is experiencing unimaginable joy in the presence of our Savior, her husband and children still have a difficult road ahead learning to live life without this precious woman of God—this faithful wife and mother.
Though many of us will miss Denise, our loss is nothing compared to the loss those little ones will experience—little ones who relied on her daily love and nurture. Or the loss felt by a husband whose world has been redefined in a single day…widower, single father. Denise’s contributions to the Kingdom were great—her writings, her counsel, her promotion of godly womanhood—but her greatest and truest legacy is evident in those who will most keenly feel her absence—her precious family.
As we pondered these things, our sadness was amplified by the frustrating fact that we won’t be able to travel from Illinois to Florida today to attend the funeral. We tried to find a reasonable way; but, in God’s providence, it just didn’t work out. So, we will join the thousands of others who love and appreciate the Sproul family, but who can’t be there to say so in person. I know many of you share our frustration.
Last night, in the midst of it all, James and I heard from our old friend, Jim Bob Howard, who is also a mutual friend of the Sprouls—a friend who, sadly, also found himself unable to travel to Florida for the funeral. Together, in our melancholy mood, we began discussing times past and how much all of our friends mean to us—friends who stretch from one end of the country to another—even from one end of the globe to the other. We may not be able to see them often, or even talk regularly; yet, somehow, God keeps us all close—what a fellowship!
James and I felt this keenly, years ago, when our family travelled so often with Homeschooling Today magazine. We met so many precious, like-minded families, only to quickly say good-bye again. I recall once, after speaking at a homeschooling conference in Alaska where we had just enjoyed such sweet fellowship with families that we had previously only known over the Internet, getting ready to leave. We didn’t want to say good-bye to these precious brothers and sisters, the fellowship was so encouraging—so like-minded; yet, it was time to go back to our corner of the world and build the Kingdom there. God had us spread out for a reason.
So, to console ourselves, last night, we remembered God’s providence. We talked about how one day, when we’re all in Heaven, perhaps we’ll all live on the same block – instead of spread out all over the world! But, for now, I know He has us dispersed for a reason. And, for His own purposes, He decided to move Denise a little further—Home.
Our dear friend is fully enjoying now what we look forward to with great Hope. One day, we will join her in that Great place! Together, we will sing, dance, feast, rejoice, and praise our Heavenly King—the one who caused us to love one another in the first place! It will be just like old times…only better.