Remembering My Dad, John Crowe

John Thomas Crowe

“You can’t give yourself over to love for somebody without giving yourself over to suffering.” Wendell Berry from Hannah Coulter

My dad died on Saturday, June 25th. He had battled in the hospital for over seventy days. When he had no more fight in him and he could tell his time was up, he wanted to return to his own house and enter glory with loved ones around him. I had the privilege to be standing next to him, holding his hand, both ready for him to enter the fullness of joy in God’s presence but not ready to have him gone from earth. Though it’s not what he or we wanted, we trust in the loving kindness, infinite wisdom, and perfecting timing of God. I’m thankful for his life, the man, dad, and grandpa he was, the memories I have of him, how he has shaped me as a person, and for these last few days and the chance to be next to him with people who love him.

Below is a eulogy of sorts that I wrote for his memorial service. There is so much more I wanted to say and I had to cut a lot out, but I hope it gives a glimpse into both who he was and what it looks like to be both sorrowful and rejoicing in this time.

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A Few Books and Articles on Death and Grieving

“Grief gives the full measure of love, and it is somehow reassuring to learn, even by suffering, how large and powerful love is.” Wendell Berry

As I’ve been processing my dad’s recent death, one of the ways I do that is by reading, which usually leads to reflection, prayer, and writing. Below are a few books and articles I’ve found helpful this week in finding hope and even rejoicing while facing the pain of death and loss.

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Grief and Gratitude: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 13)

(This devotion is day thirteen of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)

Read Psalm 28

As you read through this Psalm, you might have wondered if you had the right verses. If thanksgiving is supposed to be joyful, why are we reading such a downer of a psalm?

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A Prayer of Lament

(One of the ways we bring our hurts, confusion, and frustration to God is through prayers of lament. We lament the brokenness of our world to God because we trust him, and we know he alone can comfort us in our pain and bring justice where it’s needed. For a helpful resource on how lament can be a bridge for racial reconciliation, see Mark Vroegop’s upcoming book Weep With Me.)

“I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.” Psalm 77:1-2

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Top 5 Reasons to Buy Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy

I love books, whether it’s reading them, talking about them, giving them as gifts, or even flipping through them at the library or bookstore. Books become a conversation partner stirring us to action or stretching our thinking. At any point, I’m reading (or researching) several books, so it’s easy for me to get excited about new books. But, having grown through Mark Vroegop’s preaching, serving under him as a staff member, and getting the chance to see this book develop, I’m especially excited to share with others what I think will be a very helpful gift to the Church. Here are my top 5 reasons (among others) to read Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament.

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