Essays on Love & Loss
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I call her my Resplendent Bride because I have eyes and ears and for a time she even let me hold her hand.
Yet although her time among us was cut short by cancer, I still feel the afterglow of her resplendence. We were married less than three years. I buried my heart and my wedding ring in St. Louis.
We walked through the shadowlands hand-in-hand until she drew her final breath. She suffered gracefully in a world that does not know what to do with pain.
The Christian faith has always been about death and resurrection, for those twin truths were the reason the Lord Jesus sojourned among us. We have forgotten the old way—we have forgotten how to suffer and die well.
Danielle was my Resplendent Bride, and the church is Christ’s. I invite you to walk through this broken house so that you may know our small part in the divine love story.
As King David said in Psalm 27:13, “. . . I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!” and if not, I know the resurrection fast approaches.
Come, won’t you sit amongst the graves with me, and dream of Resurrection Day?
–E. M. Welcher
Table of Contents
Part 1 – Shiny, Happy People
2. The Cancer, 15 Months, and the Sovereignty of God
3. The Cancer and the Christ
4. “. . . But If It Dies . . .”
5. How to Keep Your “I Do” in the Present Tense
6. Hiking in the Dark
Part 2 – Come Back
7. The River Styx
8. The Funeral Sermon
9. A Widower Reads: A Grief Observed
10. A Small Note on What God Does Through Pain
11. Love Is Not the Same Thing as Sex
12. The Leader Dies in Christianity
13. Spurgeon on Mourning
14. I Am a Weak Preacher
16. Living in the Valley of the Shadow of Death
17. “Hey, Green Eyes, Don’t Dream It’s Over.”
18. Fight The Nothing
19. One Year
Part 3 – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
20. The Beauty of It All
21. Go Home, Son
22. All the Days
24. Climbing Mt. Nebo
25. The Resurrection and the Life, and the Pain In-Between
Appendix: Eight Ways to Comfort the Suffering
About the Author:
Evan is in love with Netflix—but only posts pictures of himself reading books on Instagram. After graduating from Emmaus Bible College, Evan bummed around Iowa, Baltimore, and South Dakota before winding up at First Christian Church in Glenwood, Iowa. He's been there since 2007. Evan writes and speaks about love and loss, marriage, suffering, death, resurrection, the life of the heart, flyover country, and Christ crucified for sinners. He believes the church is proof of God's lovingkindness. ¥ Evan writes at evanwelcher.com ¥ Evan writes poetry at thebrotherswelcher.squarespace.com ¥ Evan posts pictures of his pet motorcyles on Instagram at pastorevan ¥ Evan posts pictures of his dog (Professor Frank) on Facebook Evan posts what he really thinks on Twitter @evanwelcher