Shannon Sproul is with the Lord...

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For our dear brother, RC Jr., Heaven has become even more precious. Yesterday, his daughter, Shannon (who had Lissencephaly), passed into the presence of the Lord.

Visitation will be this Friday, 5:00-700 P.M. at the Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home in Orlando with the memorial service at Saint Andrews on Saturday at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers you may donate to the Denise Sproul Memorial Scholarship Fund (checks made out to Ligonier Ministries but so designated).

This has been a year of grieving for RC and we ask readers to pray for the Sproul family, that God will comfort them and give them strength for the days and work ahead.

As we grieve over the Sproul's loss of Shannon and RC's wife, Denise (at the end of 2011), it seems good to reprint here an excerpt from Dad's book on death first issued under the title, View from a Hearse...

Here are that book's last two pages...

One Saturday morning in January, I saw the mail truck stop at our mailbox up on the road.

Without thinking, except that I wanted to get the mail, I ran out of the house and up the road in my shirt sleeves. It was bitterly cold—the temperature was below zero—there was a brisk wind from the north, and the ground was covered with more than a foot of snow. 

I opened the mailbox, pulled out the mail, and was about to make a mad dash for the house when I saw what was on the bottom, under the letters: a Burpee seed catalog. On the front were bright zinnias. I turned it over. On the back were huge tomatoes.

For a few moments I was oblivious of the cold, delivered from it. I leafed through the catalog, tasting corn and cucumbers, smelling roses. I saw the freshly plowed earth, smelled it, let it run through my fingers.

For those brief moments, I was living in the springtime and summer, winter past. Then the cold penetrated to my bones and I ran back to the house. When the door closed behind me, and I was getting warm again, I thought how my moments at the mailbox were like our experiences in life.

We feel the cold, along with those who do not share our hope. The biting wind penetrates us as them.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, write of the '20s who coined the phrase "the Jazz Age," spoke of the end that was "desolate and unkind, to turn the calendar at June and find December at the next leaf." We have had this same desolate feeling, many of us.

But in our cold times, we have a seed catalog. We open it and smell the promised spring, eternal spring. And the first-fruit that settles our hope is Jesus Christ, who was raised from death and cold earth to glory eternal.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!