By Kathleen Thomas Gaspar
Each time I stray 50 feet or more from my iPhone, the little Bluetooth gadget I have stuck in my ear whispers urgently, “Lost connection!” Kind of annoying, but were it not for that reminder, I would more than likely have lost my (costly) phone multiple times by now.
Lately a familiar Voice has been whispering in my ear at the self-same moment a familiar Hand touches my shoulder. “Lost connection,” the Holy Spirit says. “You strayed more than 50 feet, child. Come back.”
But as He whispers and touches my shoulder, the Holy Spirit reminds me reconnection is as close to me as my own breath. Inhale. Breathe out and call His name. Jesus is there. You know what I have to say about that?
Thank God. Thank God I heard and came back.
Three weeks ago, on Sept. 18, a beautiful young man named Kathan Tyler Bridge died from injuries he suffered in a one-car crash in northern New Mexico. The promising 18-year-old had just graduated from Cuba High School and was looking at a career as a Hot Shot firefighter. He was bright and handsome and easy-going, with a permanent smile that started and ended in his eyes.
And he was the son of my niece, Marci, and the grandson of my sister, Sharon. He was family, and the loss was measured on the Richter scale. Kathan? Why, God? Why Kathan?
I had no answer for my family, because I do not know God’s mind. I only know His unending love and mercy and the undeserved grace He sheds on this world. That’s what I do know. But I don’t know why Kathan, why he was taken so suddenly.
The family left behind holds his memory tight, not going to let go for anything or anyone. Kathan’s light burns brightly in every life he touched, and he touched hundreds. Thank God.
Last week, on Aug. 1, my brother, George Bertram Thomas, died. Family members gathered in the hospital, and we spent time with George as the final hours unfolded.
George was a tough guy, a big guy, a proud guy. At age 71 – until he was no longer able to do so – he carried himself in just that way. Tough, big, proud. You better believe it. But he also started wearing his heart where it could be seen.
Marci and Sharon each told me that Kathan had come to God before his death, and George also received salvation in the weeks before he died.
I know and can tell you that eternity is a very long time, and I know that by the grace of our loving God and by confessing Christ crucified and Christ resurrected we will meet again in heaven.
Romans 10:9 declares, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
I absolutely know that to be true.
Sometimes we lose connection, not talking to one another or letting too much time go by before we drop silly grudges. I don’t know why we do that, other than this old world can suck us in sometimes without our even noticing.
Thank God for that Voice, for that whisper, for that almighty love. . “You strayed more than 50 feet, child. Come back.”
Amen. Hallelujah. You’re missed so much, Kathan and George.