This past week, I lost a dear friend of mine. I found out on Monday that Geoff Quinn passed away last Friday on June 21st, 2013. He had been battling cancer since 2011.
We graduated from the same college. We were seminary students together. We worked at the same high school. We were baptized together. We had traveled to Thailand, Myanmar, and South Africa together for various missions activities. I loved Geoff.
Geoff was a humble man of God who exemplified Christian joy. In his valiant fight against cancer, he showed me what it’s like to trust in the sovereignty and love of God through fiery trials. He taught me what it means to live in light of eternity. Like Job, he cried, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him” (Job 13:15).
Though he would never finish the last two classes of his Master of Divinity… Though he would never fulfill his dream of serving God in pastoral ministry… Though he would never get married to form a family as he so desired… He firmly held onto his faith that “[his] Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25).
It turns out that God was preparing me for this dreaded news. The very day I found out, I had been reading from Psalm 115, which says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps 116:15), and from Revelation 21, which promises that, in the end, “[God] will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more.” Oh how I long for that day to come soon!
As a tribute to Geoff, I have composed a song about loss, suffering, hope, and future glory based on Romans 8:18-25. Oh Lord, let me never forget Geoff’s witness and encouragement to me!
“Glory After All”
From South of the vineyard, leaks
Three drops (oh~)
Pressed from our dear and precious grapes
That never felt the touch of a
Hope that is seen is no hope at all
Grace that is earned is no grace at all
Love that is bought is no love at all
So I say, it’s for Your glory after all
From East of the garden, wilts
Three years (a~)
Budding shoot under the Pyrrhic heat
Blighted by the curse of
From West of the city, bleeds
Three days (He~)
Crushed in the winepress of God’s wrath
Groaning in the pangs of
“Where do I turn? This question resonates with me because it’s a question that I wrestle with daily. Right now, this is the question of my life. The most important lesson that I’m learning is that I gain peace in my trials when I see the nail-pierced hands that control them. I’m able to embrace God’s control over my life to the extent that I see His passionate love for me, to the extent that I see His extravagant love for me, to the extent that I see His costly love for me, I’m able to embrace His control over my trials.
I don’t know how much time I have, but I do know that if I must die, Jesus’ nail-pierced hands have me covered. One day, all the marks of my suffering will be gone…
My hope is in the resurrection–a resurrection that’s been purchased and ensured by Jesus’ own suffering, death and resurrection. This is my hope. One day, I’ll see Jesus face to face and I’ll be able to touch the hands, I’ll be able to touch the wounds that healed me. I’ll be able to touch the wounds that saved me.
… Each of us, sooner or later, we’re going to hit the wall. Where are you going to turn? Whether it’s with raised hands, or a raised fist, I implore you to turn to God, only take the time to behold the One you’re addressing. Take the time to look at the One you’re speaking to. Those wounds were taken for your healing. The Father’s arms are open wide and you’re welcome to come in…”
-Geoffrey Stuart Quinn
November 27, 2011
Park Street Church