As we took the last ride of this journey, I couldn’t figure out where I was. I knew we were not traveling far from Erlanger Baroness Hospital and as some things were recognizable, I still could not get my bearings together. Then all of a sudden, we turned the corner and I saw a very familiar site. It was the three crosses from one of our churches that are visible to all who travel that stretch of I-75. That familiar feeling was very comforting to me as we pulled into the care facility. The next morning, I went home briefly and as I returned, I snapped a photo.
Summer Joy—her name itself would seem that all was perfect. Our son, Matthew, was one of the ministers at Summer’s home-going service and he reminded us, “A life of joy, however, does not preclude nor prohibit suffering in this life on this side of eternity, and while her life was most certainly one of joy, it would be a denial of reality to suggest that her life was not also a life of suffering. She was certainly not alone in suffering—indeed, no believer is immune to difficulty, calamity, or despair.”
As Easter approaches, I am reminded of how our Lord suffered and what the Cross and the Resurrection mean to us. Our general overseer said, “It always seems like death wins, but then Jesus and death stepped into the arena.” I love the quote, “Darkness fell, His friends scattered, hope seemed lost, but Heaven just started counting to three.”
Oh, the beauty of the crosses … I know there are many stories of what a blessing these are to our city and to those who pass them daily at The Crossing Church, but now I have my own story. On Easter weekend, the lights on the crosses will change to red. I will see them again.
The crosses also remind us where God demonstrated the ultimate act of love foretold in John 3:16. That love won the ultimate victory over death, hell, and the grave, and it has given us the hope on which we have rested these past several weeks.
To quote the song, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the Solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
God’s love led Jesus to the Cross, and that provided us the hope and the promise that to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord. We have always known that Summer’s goodbye is only temporary. We know that we will miss her for the rest of our lives, but we will only miss her for this life, because we know that we will see her again.
God bless you during this Easter celebration!
Summer Joy Propes was the beloved daughter of World Missions Assistant Director Dr. M. Thomas and LaQuita Propes. She made her transition to her heavenly home on March 14, 2017. A memorial fund has been established in her honor: 775-0039