Miracles: ¬Å“Matt is gone.

CW heaven.jpg
“Matt is gone.”

This is my waking thought. I turn to the right to look at the clock. I turn to the left and see my wife’s eyes closed. She is sleeping. Her eyes will open later and she’ll rise to meet the day.

Matt’s eyes closed sometime late Tuesday night. They will never again open to meet sunrise on earth, but Matt did rise. Early this morning he breathed his last breath as a spirit entrapped in an earthly body, and when he opened his eyes it was to sights he had dreamed of, hoped to see, yet could not imagine; they are so glorious, over-the-top, beyond description even for Matt a master of words.

Last night our humble little church family gathered. We called the youth group in from their regular Wednesday night meeting. The woman with the biggest heart I know, Vicki stood and tearily recounted the events of the previous day. How Jason went to visit Matt. How Matt and Jason planned their Alaska Adventures. How late Tuesday night they were driving back to Anchorage and a Moose wandered onto the road. How the next thing Jason remembers was waking up in the hospital with a back injury in a lot of pain, but very much alive. How Matt was on life support and had been declared brain dead.

The quiet in the sanctuary was broken by some quiet but audible gasps. Some people did not know. Some people knew there had been an accident but didn’t know how serious. Some people knew and still could not believe what they were hearing. Not Matt? The one raised in this church, little “Bucky” as we called him? Some of the strongest reaction was from the teenagers clustered behind us in the sanctuary. Youthful illusions of invincibility are not easily shaken but this did it.

Like Gandalf sending Hobbits to retrieve the ring, our church sent unlikely emissaries–a pastor fearful of heights (Mike) , Jason’s father (Dale) who has not flown since his honeymoon due to an epileptic-like reaction to flight, and Jason’s mom (Crys) with a broken ear drum. This is the kind of thing the company of friends in the pursuit of God does. These humble few joined Matt’s mom and dad (Doug and Katie), sister (Sarah) and her daughter (Kailey) and husband (Ian) and brother Joshua who flew in from Nebraska.

They gathered around Matt, surrounding him with earthly familial love, and trusted him into his Heavenly Father’s care.

Last night some of us prayed for a miracle, as we should. We wanted Matt to wake with us and continue his journey on earth. I realized I always looked forward to see what God was going to do with Matt.

The email to the church prayer chain just informed me of what I already knew.

“Matt Montzingo was taken off life support early this morning and is now home with the Lord.”

We prayed for a miracle. We got one. Jesus victory over death, “Oh death where is they sting?” cleared the way for Matt’s transport to God. “He is not here he is risen” is true of Jesus and now true of Matt. Miracles don’t come any bigger than that. And so we sorrow, but not as those who have no hope.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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  • ‚©CRS Communications 6/17/04

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