For the past fifteen months I’ve been encouraging people with the words, “Faith, hope and joy to you.” Those are the words I write on the dedication page of each copy of the book Ornament.
The words aren’t written lightly. They’ve been tested and found true.
Kristen Fersovitch a thirty-year old wife, and mother of three boys under five, facing inoperable cancer, showed me over and over again how powerful the words are.
Even in death they ring true.
GREEN BALLOONS AND HOPE
The day after Kristen’s funeral I accompanied her body with John from Serenity Funeral Services, to Garth Evangelical Cemetery – a small, countryside, cemetery.
In preparation for the graveside service three green-coloured, star-shaped balloons had been purchased – one each for Kristen’s sons.
A year earlier, Kristen had taken a green balloon – her favorite color – and released it from the backyard of their acreage home as her act of hope. The balloon and her prayers carried her fears and worries about the future to God.
The time came for each boy to set their balloon free.
A breeze caught the balloons and carried them towards a stand of trees by the cemetery.
I held my breath wondering if the strength of the breeze would get them high enough to clear the branches. The first two balloons cleared the treetops by inches and floated away. However, the ribbon of the third balloon got caught on a branch. People sighed an audible, “Oh” of disappointment.
We turned our attention back to Kristen’s casket.
The boys were guided away from the graveside.
HOPE IN THE FACE OF DEATH
I began to read from 1 Corinthians, chapter 15. The chapter concludes with hope in the face of death.
As I read aloud, I watched the 3rd balloon out of the corner of my eye. I came to the phrase, “Where, O death, is your victory?”
The breeze picked up.
I saw the balloon set free from the branch‘s grasp. It began to ascend. I found myself telling everyone, “Look, its free!” As one we turned to watch. I felt as though time stood still.
The word “free” echoed in my mind.
Kristen was free.
She finally knew what it was to be free of the cancer…free of the pain.
She was safe at home. She was more alive now than she had ever been.
I read the remaining verses through my tears.
The Bible says love is stronger than death.
2000 years ago God sent his Son to defeat death by dying in our place.
Death is not a defeat.
There is overwhelming grief and an ocean of tears,
But there is no defeat.
Christmas can bring peace and joy that transcend the powers of suffering, loss, and death.
The gift of Christmas is faith, hope and joy through Jesus.
You can read Kristen’s story of faith, joy and hope by purchasing, “Ornament.” All proceeds go to the Fersovitch Family Trust Fund.
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