Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Thursday, January 10, 2008

In Honor of the Dodder Family

I was scheduled to work in Morgan's class today so as I was heading out the door to drop Ryanne off with a friend when she ran up and handed me the paper from the end of our driveway; it's just our little local paper from here in town but none the less it's the best way to keep up with what is going on in our growing community.

I was 15 minutes early to the school so I decided to plop myself down and read the paper. I unfolded it and right at the top of the front page it read:

Local Man Dies at Angels Roadhouse.
At first it didnt really catch my attention to much. Angels roadhouse is a local bar/dance place that is known for having it's share of bar room brawels. As I read further into the article I noticed the name and age of the victim as being my friends son. My heart dropped for many reasons besides the obvious. My friend also lost her husband 4 months ago to illness. I couldn't believe me eyes so I went to the parking lot and called Sondra only to find out it was indeed her son in the paper. It's very moments like that on the phone with my friend that make me so angry. I am helpless, grieving for her and her loss and no words or kind thing I could do for her will make the hurt go away. I can't fix it. Nobody should have to carry that much grief at once.

I start to ask God what makes him think her heart can stand the pain of losing her husband and son all at once. I am asking God this fully expecting a response, an explanation of some kind that I can call my friend back with. But there's nothing, just silence.

I have to start by telling you that Sondra isn't the friend I go shopping with, or on vacations with. She's not the friend you go get manicures with or swap clothes with. Sondra is old enough to be my Grandma. She was my mentore. We met through Arrowhead Springs Christian conference center and she and her husband Greg took me under their wing. I was 18 at the time and not making the best decisions as far as my future was concerned. Sondra met with me every week for almost five years. She brought me into her home reading through the bible with me, praying over me, crying with me, cheering me on, and teaching me what I was worth to God was her mission. Sondra would have me in for tea in her fancy little china cups like I was a special guest and she would tell me what to look for in a spouse. (she and Greg were married 48 yrs) She would share the hardships of she and Greg's life and how they got through things with God in the center. Greg would come home and greet me with these hugs that could fix anything. He would tell me how proud of me he was and that he loved me. What's remarkable about that is I wasn't doing to many things to be proud of. But no matter he always made sure I knew they loved me.

Sondra & I prayed for years on end for Grant (her son who was killed) that he would return to his roots and serve the Lord again. A couple of years ago when we were having lunch she explained to me that Grant was indeed back and serving the Lord with full force. And that is how he died. He went to the bar to rescue a friend in distress and ended up sharing Jesus with some of the guys for over an hour. Afterwards they stomped on his head and neck and killed him. He died doing what he felt he was privelaged to do. Sharing Jesus Christ.

I explained to my friend that in no way could I understand her pain or even wrap my brain around the turn of events over the last four months. But that her life and the life of her family had made me a better person. Her obedience to God in loving me should make her proud as it was life and heart altering. God still hasn't answered all my questions but I know he loves Sondra more than I ever could and he will wrap her up in his arms of mercy and like I told her on the phone today; words are not enough to express my love and gratitude, but one day in heaven she will get her full reward for her faithfulness and she will be with & get to share it with Greg and Grant.


DonnaG said...

Hoooaaaa a woooahh. There is really no appropriate response to that story. Oh my gosh. I grieve to for the woman who mothered you. I grieve for you because you love her so much. But, what an amazing ending to Grant's life. It should go down in the Book of How to Live Your Life! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful, yet bitter account.

Jessica said...

wow... that's really all I can say. I agree with Donna that there really is no appropriate response to that story...words can never adequately express the depth of feelings one must feel with something like that. I will say that my heart goes out to your friend a hundred times over.

christy p said...

Please know that I am thinking and praying for you and your friend. I can't imagine the pain she is going thru at this time. Sending you a ton of hugs...

Rhonda said...

Wow Christy. I remember when you used to meet with Sondra. I think Donna said it best. We will definitely be praying for Sondra and her family.

Mark said...

This is a story of amazing grace. It is hard to be a Christian parent in America today. It is easy to give up on praying for your own adult children. God is a faithful friend - like Grant was to his friend. Now Grant is with Jesus forever and Jesus is telling Grant "well done my faithful servant, you died for your friend, and I died for you". God is so good.

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