Darkness reigned and veiled our hope.
We settled into the pain and beauty of the moment
Knowing the beauty would pass sooner than we had hoped.
Joe was a wildly interesting person - with millions of intricacies that I had hoped to unpack over a lifetime of friendship. He was as strong as he was sensitive - a poet and an outdoorsman. He burst into our lives with an irresistible transparency. I knew that he adored my sister, the moment I met him. He loved Arleigh with the same fierce passion. Humble, kind and unafraid of true, real things. A deep thinker with an artistic mind, a witty sense of humor and a heart for adventure.
At 9:48 am on Friday morning, Ben declared Joe's death.
He opened The Jesus Storybook Bible, and read these words of restoration.
And the King says, “Look! God and his children are together again. No more running away. Or hiding. No more crying or being lonely or afraid. No more being sick or dying. Because all those things are gone. Yes, they're gone forever. Everything sad has come untrue. And see - I have wiped away every tear from every eye! And then a deep beautiful voice that sounded like thunder in the sky says, "Look, I am making everything new!"
In second Corinthians, Paul writes "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
We can make no sense of the heartache that is before us.
There is no hidden blessing in this grief - we can only fix our eyes on the things that are unseen and eternal.
Maggie and Arleigh will need your prayers for as long as you can offer them.
They lost a very special person and life here on earth will never be the same.
Memorial service and celebration of life
On Saturday, April 28th at The Grove in Bryson City
1127 Franklin Grove Church Road, Bryson City NC 28713
There are several hotels in Cherokee and Bryson City - both cities are within 20 minutes of the church and Maggies home.
If you are interested in renting a cabin there are several options on vrbo.com and airbnb.com.
In lieu of flowers
Please make donations to the Grove Church
gifts will be distributed between the children's ministry and the group home they support.
Letters of condolence and encouragement
Can be sent to Maggie and Arleigh's home
97 Bunting Trail
Whittier, NC 28789