Monday, September 26, 2011

Mourning for the Unknown Friend

I woke up yesterday morning to the news that Sara Frankl had passed away. In the midst of rousing kids from sleep, trying to find shoes, grabbing some breakfast, I read posts by folks sharing their memories of their Gitzen Girl. How she touched their lives, how she made their lives brighter, how she was a faithful friend.

I didn't know her. I discovered Sara when Matthew wrote about her a little less than 2 weeks ago. At that point, she was unable to post to her blog, to compose any new tweets, to respond to a new reader. I've heard her sing, have read her words, have seen her pictures, but I never had the opportunity to interact with her directly. I have many in my virtual village, but somehow Sara and I missed one another.

And yet I mourn her passing.

Not for Gitz. I believe in eternity and I believe Sara is sharing eternity in the embrace of the One she served while she was alive.

But I mourn with my friends who did know Sara. I'm sad that they have a season where they don't get to laugh with her, to cry with her, to talk to her, to tweet with her. To be her friend. There's a hole there and even as they choose joy, that void is apparent. My heart aches for them in this season.

I went to church and we sang Stronger:

You are stronger, you are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me
It is written, Christ is risen
Jesus, You are Lord of all

Sara's body wasn't strong. It was broken and hurt. Her friends wrote of the emotional toll of hearing her yelp in pain or gasp for breath. Sara wrote about the ways that she wanted things to be and the way they actually were for her. 

But her hope was in One who was stronger. And through her writing, she encouraged others to choose joy. Not joy that ignores pain, but joy that sees goodness in the midst of the pain. Not joy that ignores brokenness, but joy that finds bits of beauty in the midst of that brokenness. Not joy that ignores sadness, but joy that finds others to lean on in the midst of that sadness.

So I mourn. 

And I choose joy.


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