Stephen Kirkpatrick

Monday, October 3, 2011

Flashing Through My Memory

There was a slight chill in the air. The field before me was covered in dew, nature's jewels twinkling in the dawning light. My Father in heaven had placed every single drop exactly where He wanted it. What a sight, what a feeling, what a peace, a peace I would need to cling to later that day.

Whirlabout (Polites vibex) and Dew
October 3, 2003

At 4:15 that afternoon I got the call no parent wants to get, there had been an accident less than two miles from our houseMy son had walked out the door less than five minutes before telling us, "see you after work." 

Blooming Bromeliad
by Ryan Kirkpatrick
September 2003

As I stood with a maroon mound of metal in front of me the state trooper informed me that my son did not make it.

It was happening, the fear we all have started to tear me up. I just knew my heart would explode and I would lose my mind. Then, a peace I did not understand covered me like a veil. First, I knew where he was, that was a comfort I thought I would never have to experience in this life. However, the emptiness was ripping away at my insides. His short life was flashing through my memory, his love of the outdoors, his photographic talent, my helper in the Amazon jungle...his smile...that laugh...never meeting a stranger. 

Now, he was gone.

Ryan watching turtle (age 6).
Jackson, MS 
September 1992

Ryan shooting in the moonlight (age 10).
Quebec, Canada 
August 1996

Tears began to flow, I began to shake and my heart was pounding...what do I do now. My life seemed over. I was being bombarded with pain and grief and despair. It felt like my very being was shutting down. Confusion and shock, all at the same time...then...


Again peace flooded my soul.


The rest of the verse? All I could think of was "the peace that passes all understanding." I had said this thousands of times in presentations and thousands of more times in quiet devotion. Then it came to me... "that guards your heart and your mind." 


I was not going to lose my mind and my heart was not going to explode. I was going to make it.

I have been through one of the deepest, darkest valleys a person can walk through and can tell you,

God Is Good.

I miss you Ryan, but I will see you soon.

Verse from (Philippians 4:7)

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