Saturday, August 14, 2010

10 years ago today

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of my mother seeing God for the first time... and she's been seeing him ever since. Pat Ritter was an extraordinary woman, not perfect by any means but a woman who loved God, fought cancer hard, loved others well, and left a deep impact on many people. She was a strong willed woman, not afraid of controversy but not looking for it either. Whenever I would argue with her (which was quite often as a teenager), I knew I'd lost the argument when she would say "Fine, do whatever your little heart desires." That one always got to me and I would concede victory to her over whatever trite thing we were fighting about.

It's hard to believe that 10 years has gone by since her life slipped away at Kaiser hospital in Roseville, CA. It was approximately 6:00pm, though that was the culmination of about 6 days in the making of her actual departure from this world. There are many vivid memories of those final days with her - the dozens of people that poured in every day, flooding out of her room and into the hallway, causing a bit of a scene as if to say "this is no ordinary woman we are about to lose here". The brief conversations she had with loved ones while she was strong enough to have them. The way she worried about me being only 16 - and trust me, she had plenty to worry about! For the most part time has flown by and every time August 14th rolls around I find myself saying "It's been that long already?" But indeed it has. While for me the pain has dissipated and the piercing questions about life and death - its timing and God's purpose in it all - have come and gone, one thing has become utterly clear: God is faithful.

God's faithfulness has been my favorite characteristic about God for quite a few years now. After a stint of about two years mostly running from his presence, seeking to fill the void of my mother with busy activities, friends, girls, and the like, upon growing up a little and reflecting on these past years I've witnessed God's immense faithfulness in many ways. The most important ways are the ones you can't necessarily measure, in my opinion. The way he sustained me emotionally and spiritually and continues to do so, though the strongest person in my life was taken from me at a very tender and treacherous age. The way he has firmly rooted his love toward me in my heart, shown me grace when I've continually strayed, and used my experience and pain to bring others hope, comfort, and even some wise perspective (now THAT'S a miracle!). He has been faithful and present, and though not all the questions are answered, I've realized I don't need all the questions answered. I'll be interested to ask God some big questions in Heaven, but by the time I get around to them there won't be any pain left in the questions, only joy that I am in the presence of the Lord.

So, 10 years down and still marching on. People die every day, and God is faithful every day. Life is an amazing blend of comedy and tragedy, and without faith in a good, holy, gracious God I truly don't understand how people cope with it. If reality has hit you square in the face recently through difficult times, know this: God is with you and is faithful. If you're running from him, turn around and receive grace. If you're hiding from him, expose yourself and your sin to his forgiveness. If you're angry with him, realize you are incredibly finite and are dealing with an infinitely wise and just God, full of mercy. If you're resisting him, just stop it already. If you can't see his faithfulness, at the very least admit you are not faithful to him and are probably not opening your eyes to see his faithfulness.

I love you mom, and I miss you. I'll see you one day though, and I'm VERY excited about that moment.

1 comment:

  1. Your mom must have been an amazing woman. And from your description I see some of those same traits in you, most notably your faithfulness to God and your wisdom in dealing with young, 16 year old future men. Your mom would be proud of you, Chris. You honor her memory well by living your life the way you do, for the Glory of God.



What are your thoughts? Get a discussion started here: