Acts 14:15-17 [After a man crippled from birth was healed, people in Lystra thought Paul and Barnabas were gods and prepared to sacrifice bulls to them.] Barnabas and Paul shouted, “Friends, we are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them … In the past he permitted the nations to go their own ways, but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness.
Romans 1:20 Through everything God made, people can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature.
Colossians 1:15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
I have just learned that our friend and colleague Doug Lamp died last night from complications of Covid. Doug and his wife Barbara spent their lives sharing the Good News about God’s goodness, first in Bolivia and then in Cuiabá, São Paulo (living three blocks from us), and Natal in Brazil. When I left São Paulo to accompany Karis through intestinal transplant, they reached out to our other daughters. Barbara did some “mom” things for and with Valerie at school I wasn’t there to do. We last saw Doug in Natal in January 2020, before any of us had heard of Covid. I will miss my cheerful email exchanges with him over the news in their prayer letters and ours. My husband Dave was a guest in their home countless times, in Cuiabá, São Paulo, and Natal. They traveled seven hours to attend our daughter Valerie’s wedding in southern Brazil.
Ironically, Doug and Barbara had their bags packed and tickets purchased to retire to the U.S. three weeks from the day Doug learned he had Covid. We talked about them visiting us in Pittsburgh. We are heartbroken for Barbara and for their family. Doug’s long battle did not end as we hoped and prayed.
What does Doug’s death have to do with this passage from Acts 14? I’m thinking this sad morning of Doug no longer dependent on the evidence of himself God gives us here on earth, but there, with him, joining Karis and all your loved ones and mine in awe around God’s throne. One day you and I will be there too. What will matter then of all that troubles us now?
Lord, reorder my preoccupations and priorities. Because you are good.