There are people who God places in our lives that leave such a lasting imprint. It is almost impossible to remember a time when you did not know that individual. Their light seems to always shine a little bit brighter than the rest of our lights. And my friends, today that light is a little bit dimmer. My dear friend Laura completed her baptismal journey yesterday and is now reunited with her beloved, Rod.
When I started at Wartburg Seminary, Laura was one of the first people that I met and was one of the most welcoming people I have ever met. In addition, her smile always lit up a room. She loved well and she loved deep! I am reminded of a story my friend Sandi shared about when her and her family moved onto the campus at Wartburg. Laura showed up with toilet paper and lemonade: perfect gifts for moving into a new home on a hot summer day. Love can be so very simple, like through fresh squeezed lemonade, and Laura was the absolute best at showing that love!
Laura also always exuded joy. Some of my favorite memories were watching Laura and a few of our other friends (Sally, Sandy, etc) cheer on our “Running Reformers” city league basketball team. Those cheers always brought a smile to my face. Laura was all about the hokey pokey. In fact, every time I hear it now I will smile and think of this beloved friend. “Because that’s what it’s all about!”
A few years ago, our friend Julia ran in honor of Laura and sarcoma research during the Fargo Marathon. Now I am no runner, but I was so delighted to stand on the sidelines donning my “Team Koppy” t-shirt and cheering on Julia and Laura.
Laura is a soul who touched many lives especially her beloved daughters. Today, Laura is free of all that ails her. And I reluctantly put down her mat at Jesus’ feet, but I put it down knowing she is free of pain and reunited with her dearly beloved husband, Rod. I also am reminded of Laura’s own wise pastoral words that are bringing me some comfort today: “Be patient with yourselves while you are grieving and tell the people you love that you love them and know that you are loved.”
So now as I lay down my mat, I see all the others around me reluctantly laying down their mats too. Laura touched more lives than I think she will ever know or could imagine. The impact of love for Laura is seen in the tears, Facebook posts, and sighs too deep for words that express the impact of love she has had on each and every one of us.
Laura, my friend, you are so dearly loved!
It’s been an incredible day today! Why, you may ask? Today has been a day of prayer. Now, of course, I work in a church so yes, I do spend most of my days already in prayer. But today was a little different..today was about lifting up TeamKoppy and sarcoma research, today was about doing something for a friend who is battling sarcoma at this very moment, today was about continuing to carry the mat for her.
Another friend Julia ran in honor of Laura and for Sarcoma research. I cheered Julia on from the sidelines. It was the least I could do as she ran today. I’m no runner but I wanted to help in some way. I wanted to be part of the journey with her and wanted to lift both of them in prayer. So I got up before 7 am on a Saturday (which is unique for this single young lady) but I was up before my alarm even went off. The Holy Spirit knew how important this was to me; to be their on the sidelines cheering as loud as I could.
I drove to Broadway and found my spot along the route. I walked up and down Broadway until the first runners came through. And then I watched and waited for Team Koppy to run by me. After she ran by, I stayed and watched and saw many other friends (some Running Reformers, some college friends, one of my confirmation youth) run by me and so I cheered them on too. I did all of this while praying hard for Laura, for all who have been affected by cancer. I left the race and headed home.
My best friend came up for the day. However my praying didn’t stop. Joni and I decided to spend some time out at the mall. We both found some great stuff. However while Joni was trying on clothes, I found myself checking my phone for Fb, Instagram and Twitter updates. I also found myself sitting and just simply waiting. And while I waited I found myself praying, praying, and praying.My friend and I went and had supper and then came home to watch a movie. And again I found myself still praying! 🙂
She just left so I thought I’d update my blog. Today has been an incredible, prayerful, love-filled day; full of prayers for Team Koppy, prayers for Laura, and prayers for the many who are battling sarcoma and other cancers. Like I said earlier, I am not a runner AT ALL but I wanted to do something and today that something was cheering on Team Koppy. Today that something was doing something I can do; PRAYING!!!