The notification came yesterday.

Peter’s been found.

And later the update on Facebook:

On behalf of the Spear family.
“It is with the deepest sorrow we have ever experienced that we report to you that our precious Peter Spear’s body was found and we have identified it. We are together as a family and lovingly supported by friends. The community of love that came together around Peter was a testament to how he cared for each of us. We know that you love Peter and that you love us and want to help. As needs arise we will not hesitate to reach out. Please continue to pray for us. No arrangements have been made yet. We will share those details as plans go forward.”

Peters family

One particular memory is coming in clear paragraphs to my mind. Questions in sentences. Prayers in short phrases. At times like this the mind and soul can move in different directions.

The last Thanksgiving before I moved to China, the Spears came to our house for the meal. I took many, many photos to be able to share “A real American Thanksgiving” with my Chinese students. Those photos were laminated (this was before the days of the internet and easy access to what we in the teaching biz call “realia”) and have been passed around many a classroom in China. Two pictures have come to mind this week, and to a certain extent haunt me.

In one, my dad is carving the turkey and he’s turned to smile at me. In another, the food is being passed around the table and Susan has the serving plate filled with turkey and is helping the child to her left.

I have looked at these photos for years. I have used the again and again. Even when it was time to return to the States, I couldn’t quite part with them though they have long lost their teaching value. They are somewhere in the basement with my other worldly treasure shipped from China.

How is it that Peter and Dad died in the same year? One was sad, but more at the end of a life. One still in the early phases.

How did it come to pass the man carving the turkey and the boy eating it would enter eternity within months of each other?

There are more questions. I image you can guess them.

But the prayers, the prayers are, I want to say lacking, but that’s not the right word. They are so basic, so short, so raw. It’s more a rendition of help, help, help. 

Peter was the meat in the sibling sandwich. He has an older and younger sister. And now they are two pieces of bread, can you be a sandwich when your middle is missing? Yes and no. Remember them too.

This has been a year of loss for the Spears.  As you pray for them, this is not the first loss, but it is by far the most awful. This weekend, knowing that we live round the world, as they come to mind, please keep praying for them in the tragic here and now and for all of the details that are before them.

I love the ways you rallied quickly yesterday. I felt this space was, in a very small way, a place where, like Job’s friends, we could sit together with them without bothering or interrupting. Let’s sit some more.

Oh God, help, help, help. Amen.



Leave A Comment

  1. Rick and Sue White July 12, 2014 at 6:58 am - Reply

    With deepest sympathies and continued prayers for you and the Spear family

  2. Connie Gibson July 12, 2014 at 7:01 am - Reply

    My heart is aching for this precious family, you and all the loving friends of the Spears with their great loss. I am sorry and will continue to pray for them.

  3. Tanya Marlow July 12, 2014 at 7:45 am - Reply

    I’m really sorry.
    You express it all so well.
    I’m across an ocean, but I’m close to the throne of God, offering petitions for the Spears family. (And for you.) with much love.

  4. Marty Miller July 12, 2014 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Amy, I am sorry for your loss. Please know that I am praying for you and the
    Spear family. Don’t know haw this works over the internet, but I’m sending a hug anyway. May you
    find God’s Peace and Presence in the midst of your sorrow.

  5. Nancy Eden July 12, 2014 at 9:24 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear this tragic news. I will continue to pray for the Spears family and for your family Amy. Friends are friends forever, Peter will be missed by everyone he knew. May God hold them close as they must walk this very dark valley.

  6. Miss Rhea July 12, 2014 at 10:10 am - Reply

    I am so very sorry for your loss and that of Peter’s family. God always answers our prayers, although not always as we would like. But he heard them yesterday and gave a quick ending to that particular suffering of not knowing. I TRULY wish His answer would have been different for you all. I too know that very prayer in my own life recently. In the months to come, they will need your family to rally behind them, now they are in shock, but after things have quieted down and people have quit calling, is when they will need you most . That is the hardest time. There is nothing worse than being alone in grief. Wish I could reach through the screen and give you a great big hug, not only for losing Peter, but for losing your own Dad recently. I have been a reader of your blog for a little while and your sold out heart for Christ brings me comfort and inspiration. Thank you for your Ministry. God Bless you sweet girl…..Hugs, Rhea

  7. Danielle Wheeler July 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Oh, Amy… So heartbreaking… Sitting together with them, with you here in this place. Echoing your help prayers.

  8. Tammy Ogden July 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    I am sorry.

  9. Susan Gaines July 12, 2014 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Punch in the gut saddened & praying, Amy.

  10. Martha Lester July 13, 2014 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Sitting and praying.

  11. Kat July 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    So very sorry to hear this! Praying for the family – as well as your family as this is too soon after your loss. Love you!

  12. Sarah S July 14, 2014 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    It moved me to tears to think of the sibling sandwich without a middle. I’ll be praying for them and you too.

  13. Suzanne July 16, 2014 at 10:18 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear this. Will pray.

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