From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

Dr. Rob Hawkins

In yesterday’s service, at “prayer concerns” time, I said that I didn’t know how to say this, but that Dr. Hawkins had ended his life the previous night. I still don’t know how to say it, how to deal with the pain and confusion of all the 8th graders who were looking forward to their graduation and Dr. Hawkins’ address to them at that graduation. Rob was loved and respected by generations of people in Freeburg.  His sudden and seemingly inexplicable death have left us reeling with shock, disbelief, numbness, etc.

I feel the urge, as many do, to reach for conclusions, for platitudes, anything that will help make sense of this. But it all sounds so cliche right now. I know that human beings are corrupt at heart; I know we can’t fully know each other, that there are depths of soul that are out the reach of human comprehension; that good people do evil things (I’ve often heard the question about how can bad things happen to good people – well how about when truly good people do truly bad things?); knowing these things helps set boundaries on my grief, but knowing these things does not take away the pain of grief.

So here I am, helpless to help myself or others. Confronted by this mystery of real treasure in real earthen vessels, by real evil and real good, and words just seem empty.  You alone are God; you alone are my rock and redeemer. Hide me under they wings…


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