Crossing Over to Life

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." - John 5:24

The below "Thank You" originally appeared in the Schenectady Gazette in 1981. It was written by a teenage boy who died from cancer. The number 400 was added after his death by his sister. His parents were divorced and he and his sisters were being raised by grandparents. It was submitted by his classmates:

"Very Special Thank You" If I were back on earth, I would want to express my thanks: To the doctors and nurses at Ellis Hospital who attended me and made sure I did not suffer any unnecessary pain during my illness. To all my school friends for your concern and kindness; for the many visits you made to the chapels and churches to pray for me; for the many hours you spent at the hospital helping to cheer me up and lift the spirits of my family.

For the memorial services you held on the steps of Draper High School the day I left this earth. To all who came by the funeral home to pay their last respects. I stopped counting when the number reached 400. To all who sent cards and sympathy letters. They were so helpful. To you dear friends and neighbors who cooked all that delicious food and baked those wonderful pastries. Your goodies just about covered every flat surface in our home. How I wish I could have tasted some of them.

To the thoughtful friends, relatives and neighbors who sent donations to charities in my name -- and, oh, those gorgeous flowers! What a beautiful array! It was almost as if I was back in the Hawaiian islands again -- a place I truly loved. Many of the plants and flowers are now in our home, being tenderly cared for by my grandmother. To those who made up the funeral cortege. What a sight that was! There were over 30 vehicles -- one after the other, all with their lights on. What a great send off. I loved it!

To my family -- Kelly, Celia, Gina and Katie. I am proud to have been your one and only brother. I'm sorry I had to leave you, but I know you will all grow up to be good citizens and a credit to our grandparents. To Gram and Grandpa. Thanks for everything. Too bad God called me just when I was reaching the age when I could have been of help to you. I realized a long time ago that you were exceptional people. I was a lucky guy to be your grandson.

To all: This isn't the end. We are sure to meet again. I'll be on hand waiting when you arrive, and we'll take up where we left off. -- Kevin Dolan, 1964-1981

This life is not the end. We do have eternal life if we have placed our trust in Christ. Today in prayer, praise Christ for the eternal life we have in Him!

"The only thing that can transform us right at the very heart of our being, and make us new again, is the gift of eternal life. Those who have it can never be the same again. The growth process can sometimes be very painful, as many of us know, but, when the gift of life is there at the heart of our being, we can never go back to what we once were. That life is in God's Son." - Ray C. Stedman

God's Word: "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you." - Isaiah 44:22

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2004, Devotional E-Mail DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

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