This morning, I received an email I’ve been praying against for months.
The letter was from my dear friend Suzan, one of our church’s Sunday Morning 5th grade small group leaders.
Steven Snook 1/25/52-5/12/10
Just a note to let you know that my beloved Steven went home to heaven on Wednesday afternoon. As you all know, this is an incredible loss for me, Josh, Lacee, Ryan and so many who knew him as such a warm and funny guy.
I am honored to have been given the privilege of loving and being loved by such a wonderful man. My life will never be the same – not just because he is gone, but because he lived.
As I lay awake in bed this morning, I heard the trash truck coming up the street and making its weekly. I thought to myself, “Life goes on.” Just like the words to the Reba McIntyre song says, “guess the world doesn’t stop for my broken heart.”
We will go on as the Snook family and Century Office Products. We will flounder, we will falter, but failure is not an option.
Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and cards. They have meant so much.
Love to all,
Steven fought the good fight and went home to Jesus yesterday. His battle with cancer ended in a series of victories. He overcame multiple brain surgeries and remained one of our most committed small group leaders, despite showing up with frankenstein-esque stitches across his scalp on post-op Sundays. Against all odds, he was able to walk his sweet daughter down the aisle to give her hand away in marriage just a few short weeks ago. And yesterday, with his wife, sister and a few others at his bedside, Steven had the ultimate victory over death. Though his body failed, his Jesus didn’t.
In the wake of an incredible loss for those of us who remain behind, I think of the amazing testimony that comes from Steve’s life. As cancer rocked the core of him physically, I asked him on a Sunday if he needed a break from his role of assisting his wife in our 5th grade small group. His reply will stick with me long past anything I’ve learned in my ministry career.
I’ll paraphrase his answer:
“This is the most important thing I could be doing with my life. Why would I need a break?”
I’ll be honest, it wasn’t nearly that articulate, the surgeries and chemo had done a number on Steven’s ability to form complex sentences… but, his heart was in it until the end. If it were up to Steven, he’d be talking with Suzan in the next couple days about the lesson she had prepared for Sunday morning. And he’d be looking forward to our volunteer dinner party coming up in a couple of weeks.
(If there was something beyond his family and making a kid smile that Steven loved, it was a free meal.)
Ultimately, God had reasons for taking Steven when he did. I don’t understand it any more than the next guy, but I know that God knows what He’s up to. I consider myself lucky to have been there for Steven’s final breaths – his life is an inspiration.
Well done, my friend. Well done.