We here at Ransomed Heart are still in a season of grieving over Craig’s departure to the Kingdom. The mission goes on and there are things we must do to sustain what God has called us to do as a ministry; however, we are still—as a fellowship and individually—grieving the loss of Craig. In times of grieving and loss, God is speaking to us as we lean into him in those tender places. Although none of us relish loss and grief, it’s a unique time not to waste what God can be screaming at us. The challenge is to have the intentionality at such tender times to ask God what the grief might be surfacing.
God has taken me back into conversations I had with Craig years ago, and this has produced some gold in my life going forward. It has come not as I try to chase away the sadness of loss, but rather as I lean into God and ask, “Do you have anything for me in this moment?”
During one of those times, God took me back to a conversation with Craig years ago when he had just discovered the cancer in his body. He was not yet suffering from this dreadful discovery. We were having lunch and some time together, and Craig, in the soberness of this cancer discovery, said to me, “No bullshit.”
When I ask him to expound, he said, “I feel the reality of my days being numbered (not to make any agreements with death or assume God couldn’t heal me) and I want to live each day with ‘no bullshit.’ I want to be intentional with the value of every day from here to wherever the finish line is for me. I want to live courageously in love and in honesty with how I relate to people, not hold back what I need to do or say as I encounter the lives of other people.” He said to me directly, “If I see you posing, I’m going to point it out, and I expect you to do the same with me.”
Now, it wasn’t like Craig was not already living with intentionality, courage, and honesty before this declaration, but he drove a stake in the ground that day. I saw something shift in him and in his walk with God, and I experienced this shift in Craig over the next years as he battled cancer. I remember him, in love and courage, confronting me about how I was not fighting for my marriage. Conversely, I remember him coming into my office one day and telling me how proud he was of me for fighting well for my marriage when I could not see it. I experienced his love and his courage in those hard-to-hear conversations and also in his love and affirmation when I did not have the eyes to see it. That was the shift to “no bullshit” in Craig: he was very intentional in his relationship with me, rather than being passive and unengaged.
As I experienced Craig, I want to live my life with “no bullshit” and relate intentionally in love and strength and honesty to the people around me. And I want to discover this without the threat of some terminal illness to soberly remind me how our days and the relationships we are involved with are too valuable not to be honestly engaged. So thank you again, Craig, for your sacrifice and courage to bring me to this reality. Though your physical presence is no longer here, the effect of your life still is in many ways and...no B.S.!