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10.04.2020

My Dad, and the Son who Died

My Dad died last week, ultimately, like oh so many, of the coronavirus. We hadn’t seen him for over three weeks, and though he was full of years, full of love, and, to the very last, full of humour, his death was untimely. It always is.

It was never meant to be this way.

That’s why, on this day, Jesus gave himself up to death – to kill it, rolled-away-stone dead.

Death is an outrage. Yes, our common end, but an outrage. And the grief? Who can measure another’s pain, or know when it will come – the roiling waves, the beating of your chest, the lostness, the not knowing where to look, because everywhere you look some sweet memory kicks you in the gut?

It was never meant to be this way.

That’s why, on this day, Jesus suffered such unanaesthetised pain – to put an end to all pain.

And there are the regrets. The ‘if only I hads’, the ‘what ifs’ – the things that I really do need to repent of. And then there are the sulphuric accusations, the false condemnations, the hissperings of that snake in your ear.

It was never meant to be this way.

That’s why, on this day, Jesus gave his life willingly as a ransom for many – to wash us clean by the priceless blood of his infinite forgiveness, heal us new, and send us into our todays, full of him, full of life, abounding in love. 

My Dad grew up Jewish. His funeral was on Wednesday, three hours before this year’s Passover began. But the Passover wasn’t enough for him. Or for us. Or for God’s ultimate purposes. Oppression, enslavement, exploitation – all that needed to end, and, yes, a new beginning offered – milk and honey in a new land. But it wasn’t enough.

That’s why Jesus came. He wanted to change our hearts. And he wanted us with him forever.

And that’s why, on this day, Jesus, in the midst of his death-agony, promised forever-life to the thief who asked, and who could do nothing except the one work God required (John 6:29): to trust in him as Lord, as Saviour.

How beautifully simple.

I don’t know if my Dad embraced Jesus in our last call on his last evening. His voice was thin and it was hard to tell. I just have to trust him to God’s care.

That’s why, on this day, Jesus died, to miraculously enable me to trust him, even with that.

Oh Lord, in these ghastly times, help us, help us to be sharers of your life.

 

Mark Greene 
Executive Director, LICC

Author

Mark Greene

Comments

  1. Dear brother Mark, mate. Thanks so much for sharing so deeply and fully in the midst of your grief. Much love from Jenny and I to you and yours. Murray

    By Murray Wright  -  10 Apr 2020
  2. Dear Mark, thank you for being so open and sharing. May our LORD comfort you at this time, and the Grace of Christ grow all the more abundantly. Shalom brother. Stay strong. I am sure many are praying for you this Easter weekend.

    By Mark Lloyd Davies  -  10 Apr 2020
  3. Heartrending …. Your pain is echoed for so many today..

    From a healthcare worker who is witnessing too many lonely and untimely deaths

    By Sue  -  10 Apr 2020
  4. Dear Mark, Ivan very sorry for your loss! Condolences! And thank you for these encouraging and powerful words you shred with us!

    By Corneliu Constantineanu  -  10 Apr 2020
  5. What a beautifully written piece in memory of your dear Dad. Sincere condolences. May his sweet soul rest in our Lord’s perfect peace. We thank Jesus for His great sacrifice. May we continue to respond in the humble way you have described in your heartwarming article, even in the middle of your grief .

    Thank you.

    By Ade Fashade  -  10 Apr 2020
  6. Mark,
    Thank you so much for sharing this moving piece. Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you and your family.

    By Daniel  -  10 Apr 2020
  7. Thank you for such a powerful, beautiful and honest reflection for Good Friday.

    By Hilary Walker  -  10 Apr 2020
  8. Dear Mark. I
    So sorry to hear of your loss feel your sadness at the way it happened.Thank you for sharing this message and for the work you do in bringing it to others.I sincerely pray that you will feel God beside you in the coming days bringing you His peace.

    By Lynda deBorde  -  10 Apr 2020
  9. Thank you for your moving personal reflection. It bought tears to my eyes. I pray that God’s love will surround and hold you, for all is held in love. Love is our guarantee of eternal life for God is love and love never ends.

    By Colin Cox  -  10 Apr 2020
  10. Thank you for sharing so powerfully, and openly such an obviously painful testimony to the reality of death and loss and the victory and deliverance of the death of Jesus our Lord!

    By Paul Hayes  -  10 Apr 2020
  11. Mark, so sorry for your loss.
    I see the words you have written as a parting gift from your Dad to the world.
    May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

    By Moira Biggins  -  10 Apr 2020
  12. So sorry to hear about your Dad, losing someone that has always been in your life is hard. The hope that we have will have made an impact on his life and ultimately it is The Lord who decides. This time of separation during isolation has given us a brief glimpse of what it could be like to not know God, His love, hope, peace and this is all temporal but guides us toward eternity. Let us all use what gifts, talents and ability to share Gods abundant love with those who are “far off” so when they come out of isolation they can join the family of God.

    By Simon Burton  -  10 Apr 2020
  13. Mark, thank you for this lovely reflection on why Jesus came. It has helped me this morning. Please accept my condolences at the loss of your dad.

    By Richard  -  10 Apr 2020
  14. Brilliant, Mark, and extremely touching. I took the funeral of my oldest friend’s Mum on Monday and this is perfect to send to her. It might even bring her back into the fold. Thank you.

    By Julia Lewis née Murphy  -  10 Apr 2020
  15. What a moving and powerful commentary you have written Mark, thank you for sharing your Dad with us at this time, may he rest in peace. My heart goes out to you and all who have lost loved ones to this disease.

    By Catherine Clarke  -  10 Apr 2020
  16. Dear Mark,

    My sincere condolences.

    May God bless, strengthen and comfort you and the family always.

    By David Cave  -  10 Apr 2020
  17. Thank you Mark powerful words from the depths of sorrow

    By Dave  -  10 Apr 2020
  18. So sorry Mark, in my prayers. Thank you for reminding us that the love of Jesus really is the answer to all our pain

    By Poornima  -  10 Apr 2020
  19. God bless you Mark. I’m so sorry for your loss. This is a powerfully beautiful piece for today. May God himself comfort you and your family

    By Revd Sue Mayo  -  10 Apr 2020
  20. Dear Mark,

    Thanks for those beautiful, thoughtful words and please accept my condolences on your Dad’s untimely death.
    My own dad died just over a year ago, so your words resonate vey much.

    Blessings and Shalom!

    John Baker

    By John Baker  -  10 Apr 2020
  21. So sorry Mark. Words totally fail me but I thank God that they haven’t failed you. Thank you for illuminating this Good Friday so personally – for my benefit.

    By Christopher Markham  -  10 Apr 2020
  22. Thank you, Mark. Very moving. Very powerful. Sincere condolences.

    By Nick Dew  -  10 Apr 2020
  23. Thank you for the eloquence of your thoughts at such a ghastly time. Graham & I will be thinking of you & the family – praying for peace.

    By Cate Cooke  -  10 Apr 2020
  24. So very very sorry for the loss of your dad.

    By Wendy Hogg  -  10 Apr 2020
  25. Very powerful, very moving. So true. Thank you

    By William Lowries  -  10 Apr 2020
  26. Thank you Mark. Raw and powerful and real. Praying for you and for your family. With much love this Good Friday.

    By Ian Gall  -  10 Apr 2020
  27. Very moving.

    By Celia Stone  -  10 Apr 2020
  28. My deepest condlences on you and your family’s loss.

    By Mark Worthington  -  10 Apr 2020
  29. Dear Mark,?,we weep with you in your loss.May the God of all comfort hold you in His love and care. Love Ruth and Jan

    By Ruth Williams  -  10 Apr 2020
  30. Poignant, honest and inspiring and so timely for Good Friday. Thank you. May the Lord uphold you in your time of loss and hope, Mark.

    By Jason Reid  -  10 Apr 2020
  31. Dear Mark
    Firstly, our prayers for comfort of the Father in the loss of your Dad..we only have one and loss is real and painful and especially when freedom of movement is so limited because of the virus and our normal channels of care and presence are denied.
    Secondly
    Thank you for such a deep reminder as to where and to Whom we place our faith. To the One who
    ‘Was rich but became poor so that we who were poor could be rich’. In Christ Alone my hope is found! The cry from the cross ‘It is finished’ God’s
    Great Reversal..death is defeated. Thank you Lord.

    By Warren Tranter  -  10 Apr 2020
  32. That moved me to tears sitting in bed recovering, thankfully from this horrible virus and enabled me to stop the selfish feelings of ‘why me?’ And instead focus on why not me or anyone else for that matter. I still have a part to play for Jesus in this world and that is a stark reminder.
    Bless you as you grieve and for sharing such a deeply moving and personal experience at this difficult time
    God Bless you Chris

    By Chris  -  10 Apr 2020
  33. God bless you in this time,

    By Steve F  -  10 Apr 2020
  34. Mark
    Sincere condolences at a sad time. Thank you for your immensely moving piece.

    By David Turner  -  10 Apr 2020
  35. Thank you for this Mark, I found it so honest and encouraging. So sorry for the loss of your Dad, praying for you and your family.

    By Sarah Raymond  -  10 Apr 2020
  36. Powerfully raw, but beautifully anchored to God’s finished work. Death has been defeated. With love and prayers and such a painful time.

    By Adrian Judd  -  10 Apr 2020
  37. So sad for you Mark….sending you a hug.
    Taken away too soon.
    It will leave a big void.
    But still the show must go on.
    Brace yourself. Stand in your power.
    I am grateful that this is the 1st death of knowing someone of our family.

    By Helen Parkinson  -  10 Apr 2020
  38. Blessings, so tough for you all

    By Geoff Allwright  -  10 Apr 2020
  39. Thank you for generously sharing your precious grief to help us connect more deeply with the cross today. Praying you know God’s peace this Easter.

    By Hannah  -  10 Apr 2020
  40. Thankyou Mark for sharing this from you heart with such honesty vulnerability and faith. I pray that God will draw even closer to you in your grief and comfort you with His fatherly love. Amen.

    By Nicky Hoyle  -  10 Apr 2020
  41. Thank you Mark for sharing the gospel in your grief.
    Thank you Jesus for the new life you bought for us

    By Barbara Forrest  -  10 Apr 2020
  42. Thank you brother. My thoughts and prayer go with you and your family.

    By Gary Stacey  -  10 Apr 2020
  43. Thank you Mark. Much love to you and your family. I can see the Promised Land, though there’s pain within the plan…

    By Matthew Lowe  -  10 Apr 2020
  44. Sorry for your loss. An excellent article – so true that it was never meant to be this way.

    By Alistair Crow  -  10 Apr 2020
  45. So sorry to read of your loss Mark. May you know the unutterable comfort of God by his Spirit

    By Rob  -  10 Apr 2020
  46. Mark,
    Thanks for sharing about your dad through the pain and sadness that death brings. I pause to pray that you will know Fathers loving arms around you bringing comport and renewed hope.
    Grace and peace

    By Graham Clarke  -  10 Apr 2020
  47. Mark,

    I’m so sorry to hear the passing of your dad. Thank you so much for testifying to the hope of Jesus, even now, and especially now.

    I will be praying for you and your family.

    May the love of the Lord be with you.
    Enoch

    By Enoch  -  10 Apr 2020
  48. Hi Mark,

    Condolences about your dad. I lost my 96 year old father two weeks ago too and I am trusting him to God’s care as well. I am focusing on the blessing of having had him around for my first 59 years when so many lose their parents so much earlier.

    By Mark  -  10 Apr 2020
  49. Beautifully written, Mark, and full of wonderful hope. Thank you. May you know strength and peace at this time.

    By Alan Jenkins  -  10 Apr 2020
  50. Thank you Mark for sharing this so openly and poignantly, with my love and prayer,

    By Caroline berry  -  10 Apr 2020
  51. Thank you dear Mark….he will wipe away every tear….a Mighty Saviour

    By Chris Fry  -  10 Apr 2020
  52. Thank you for your honest and painful faith.
    Now I know why you were unexpectedly on my mind yesterday. I wish I’d trusted that sense and emailed you then but I’d only met you once (at a Pioneer training day) and couldn’t grasp what to say and so as always that was my excuse. I only share now so that you know from another means that God is with you in this. He is always faithful.
    May the God of all hope fill you with peace in believing.

    By Juliet Fuller  -  10 Apr 2020
  53. Hold on to all of that forever Mark. They are beautiful words. Deep from your heart and pain, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever read to help capture the beauty, the joy and love of God in our broken world. Thank you

    By Jon Brewer  -  10 Apr 2020
  54. So sorry Mark but thank you for sharing
    Marjory Henderson

    By Marjory Henderson  -  10 Apr 2020
  55. Dear Mark
    Sincere condolences and thank you for beatifully crafted words – a ray of hope for so many grieving because of untimely loss
    The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it John 1.5
    David Child

    By David Child  -  10 Apr 2020
  56. May His love enfold you – May the peace which passes all understanding fill your heart and mind as you trust in Him. He walks with us in our agony.
    God bless you and keep you may He make His face to shine upon you may the Lord grant you favour and give you His peace Numbs 6:24-26

    By Margaret  -  10 Apr 2020
  57. Thank you for being brave enough to share what is still so very raw. And what a powerful testimony. We can leave “even that” in His hands.

    By Lesley Mackintosh  -  10 Apr 2020
  58. Thank you for finding the courage to share with us at a time of pain and loss. Your words struck many chords in my hearts – I lost my Father over 40 years ago as a teenager – but the anniversary always brings things back. Your honesty and raw faith has helped me today. Praying for you and those around you. May you find God’s calm and hope in the days ahead as tears speak the words your mind cannot find. Much love.

    By Ailsa Flinders  -  10 Apr 2020
  59. Mark, I am saddened to hear of your father’s passing. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for framing your grief with hope in what Jesus did on Good Friday.

    By Russ Gehrlein  -  10 Apr 2020
  60. So sorry to hear your sad news Will pray for you and your family tonight. Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement.

    By Duncan  -  10 Apr 2020
  61. Dear Mark,

    Kate and I send you and your family our love and sincere condolences at this very sad and somewhat chaotic time of illness, isolation and yes, deaths. Your heartfelt account of your emotion and turmoil at losing your Abba in this way touched all of our hearts. Thank you and, as Her Majesty said so beautifully – we will meet again….. we love you.

    Jeremy

    By Jeremy Clare  -  10 Apr 2020
  62. Mark may our God and Father comfort you and fill you with the reassurance of His love for both you and your Dad.

    By Justin  -  10 Apr 2020
  63. Our love to you Mark. Thank you for sharing.

    By Barbara & Phil  -  10 Apr 2020
  64. Mark –
    So typical of you that you go on giving to others even when you would have every reason to turn in on your own thoughts and pain. May Easter come quickly for you.

    By John G Ellis  -  10 Apr 2020
  65. Dear Mark,
    So sorry to hear of your father’s passing. Thank you for sharing this very beautiful, very personal poem, which sums up so poignantly the grief of losing someone we love. Anyone who has gone through such a time as this, or is currently going through it will instantly connect with all you have shared. God bless you greatly at this time.

    By Ruth Jacklin  -  10 Apr 2020
  66. Dear Mark,

    My sincere condolences.

    Majestic piece of thought on Jesus’ sufferings.

    Alexandru Nadaban

    By Alexandru Nadaban  -  10 Apr 2020
  67. Dear Mark, my sincere condolences on your great loss. In the midst of your sorrow, thank you for sharing your thoughts about this unique day in history which forever changed the Story of the world and our stories…and sharing your heart along with it at such a difficult time. You are a blessing to many. May you taste God’s shalom in this time of grief.

    By John Spadafora  -  10 Apr 2020
  68. You and my sister Katriina are in my thoughts and prayers. Lean hard on Jesus. He is our refuge and our fortress. May God cover you with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust. With love from from your Angeletti family.?

    By Joni  -  10 Apr 2020
  69. Dear Mark
    I am so sorry for you having to grieve the loss of your father in such an abnormal way. We too buried my daddys twin brother with “no more than 10” ruling and it felt very strange and kind of like an insult to their memory. As a christian I do know in my head this isn’t true and that in heaven our little ceremonies and celebrations must pale to what’s going on in heaven-but my heart yearns for the love, laughter, and hugs from family and friends to help transition to life without our loved one. Please know that your other italian family in the US is praying for you and because HE lives–we can face tomorrow! HE is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit! Thank you for your words. Your ABBA Father and father would say “Well done, good and faithful servant! Love You- Ann

    By Ann Angeletti Collard  -  10 Apr 2020
  70. So sorry to learn of this Mark. Bless you brother and know my prayers in these days.

    By Jonny Smith  -  10 Apr 2020
  71. Thank you Mark for this moving, encouraging, and courageous post. Praying for God’s loving arms to hold and keep you and your loved ones at this sad time.

    By Mary  -  10 Apr 2020
  72. So sorry, Mark, for your loss. You said it best, that you can trust him to God’s care. Many blessings in this hard time.

    By Cynthia Tews  -  10 Apr 2020
  73. Dear Mark, praying for you and the family at this time. May you all know the presence of the Holy Spirit in a special way during this time of loss. God bless you all.

    By Simon Hewitt  -  10 Apr 2020
  74. Dear Mark,
    Thank you for sharing about your dear Dad and, at the same time, sharing your deep faith in Jesus who willingly became vulnerable and helpless for us and understands our grief.
    My husband died in February, (my children their Dad). So today, with you, we leave our sadness at the cross and seek His comfort.
    God bless you

    By Rosie Coldwell  -  10 Apr 2020
  75. Thank you for such a clear message of the point of Christs death, in the midst of your bereavement Mark. God strengthen you and give you peace as you continue to trust in Him

    By Gwen and Mark Oliver  -  10 Apr 2020
  76. Dear Mark,
    I’m so sorry for your loss! Thank you for showing us how you personally have been held by the hand by God in the midst of sadness and of the darkness of uncertainty. Praying for you at this time.

    By Daniel Bulzan  -  11 Apr 2020
  77. Dear Mark, our hearts break, hearing of your loss. Words can’t capture such sadness. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing the good news of why Jesus came, when life is at its darkest. In Christ, Nik & Dave

    By Dave Benson  -  11 Apr 2020
  78. Only just caught up with this. Thank you for allowing your own personal pain to minister so powerfully to others in pain, for speaking prophetically into our present situation and offering ultimate hope by emphasising the power of the cross.May God be your strength and comfort.

    By John Grayston  -  11 Apr 2020
  79. Dear Mark
    So sorry that you have lost your dad at such a difficult time and full of admiration for how you lean into God at a time like this.

    By Tim  -  11 Apr 2020
  80. Oh, dear Mark, I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss and under such difficult circumstances. I’ve been so moved by your words, ones that have come from deep within your spirit. As others have said, so real, so raw, but also so true and so insightful and helpful. ‘Deep calls to deep’ – those beautiful words from Psalm 42 that couldn’t be more apt here and ones that meant so much to me when my own father was dying some years ago. May you be enfolded in the Lord’s love, reassurance and comfort at this time as you journey with Him through Easter and in these coming days and months. God bless you!
    Fiona

    By Fi Petit  -  11 Apr 2020
  81. Thank you, Mark. Praying for you and the family this Easter

    By Curt Hopkins  -  12 Apr 2020
  82. Dear Mark, your words came to me with fond memories of my time at LICC. My love and prayers are with you in your loss.

    By margaret killingray  -  12 Apr 2020
  83. Thank you for your inspiring article despite your loss. May you and your family continue to know God’s presence during this difficult time.

    By Roddy Cunningham  -  12 Apr 2020
  84. Thank you Mark for your honesty. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and give you comfort and peace.
    Ricky Jolley

    By Ricky Jolley  -  13 Apr 2020
  85. That’s why on this day…

    You have placed these words in the deepest depth of life and of His purpose. Thank you.

    May He bring solace to you and your family in the deepest depths of this place.
    A cry for many at this time but in this moment for you and yours.

    By Jilli  -  14 Apr 2020
  86. Mark – so saddened to hear of the loss of your father in such difficult circumstances. I hope and pray that you will find solace in God’s loving embrace as He welcomes your father and comforts you.

    By Paul  -  14 Apr 2020
  87. Our loved ones go no further than God and God is very near shalom to you and yours at this grieving time your message is a comfort to us all. We served in Bangladesh and Pakistan between 1986-1993. for The Salvation Army. We witnessed much suffering and personal grief and even now it is still so raw. May our loving Lord lift you on angel’s wings. In Christ who is our all in all all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well. God raise you up with the love and prayers of all the Durman who await the arrival of our first Grandson in July 2020.?

    By Pauline Durman retired Church Minister  -  17 Apr 2020
  88. Thank you for sharing, Mark. Sending you and your family our prayers and condolences.

    By Melanie Farquharson  -  17 Apr 2020
  89. Dear Mark and family
    I’ve seen a few friends lose their parents prematurely to COVID-19 and for each it’s heartbreaking. I wanted to let you know how I see you as a friend even though we’ve never met – LICC and you have been in my life for years.
    Sending Gods’s comfort and love to you across the wires. I pray I will be a share of your love more in this unique time.

    By Becky Hardiman  -  24 Apr 2020
  90. Dear Mark,

    I read your words on the day and I read them again today.

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for allowing such beauty in grief. Your words keep on giving me life.

    Jubi & Annie

    By Jubiracy da Silva  -  11 May 2020
  91. Mark
    Thank you. I know you only from a screen and in the presence of some sisters and brothers who followed a course some time ago. Your faith and commitment was so evident to us then and now confirmed again in your open sharing at a time of real challenge.
    May you know every Blessing and comfort of the Saviour
    Roy Fleming
    Saintfield, Northern Ireland

    By roy fleming  -  17 May 2020

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