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Remembering Tim Part Two

June 27, 2007


Jason & Tim at his benefit concert in March '07

Jason & Tim at his benefit concert in March '07





I got a number of emails from people regarding my last blog about the death of my friend Tim Helmen, including from Lori Helmen, Tim’s wife.


In my post, I was very open about my own doubt and even disappointment with God regarding Tim’s death. But Lori was just as open about her hope and the faith she has that God holds them in the palm of His hand. I thought I’d share excerpts of her email to me. I think you will agree that she is as brave as she is faithful:



Thank you so much for writing and sending what you had written about 
Tim. Thanks also for your prayers. Through the millions of prayers 
brought to God’s throne on our behalf, God has carried much of our pain 
as we continue on.

I’m sorry you’ve had a hard time dealing with your grief. Again, God 
has carried us through so much that asking why or feeling anger never 
really happened. I hope it never comes. We lived in that strange 
balance of hope for this life and the uncertain future we faced and I 
believe we lived it faithfully. God gave us both the willingness and 
the opportunity to use even this to glorify Him and to show our Only 
Hope to the dying, both physically and spiritually. After Tim died, I 
began to think about why our family watched and waited for healing up 
until almost his final breath. Even though the answer is simple 
enough–because we have a God Who is powerful enough to do whatever He 
wants!–I was grateful to realize that we truly believed it. We had 
talked about how perfect it would be if God chose to heal Tim when there 
seemed to be no way on earth he could pull through. Then no one could 
deny that it was a miracle of God. I also thought it was amazing that 
God allowed us to strongly feel that hope without it crushing us when 
that miracle didn’t happen. At the same time, oddly enough, I also felt 
aware of the possibility that Tim may have to die so that God could . . 
. show how the assurance of eternal life can bring peace–an 
overwhelming peace, I like to call it–even though it appears that my 
life is crumbling around me. I want to do all I can to honor Tim and 
our God by living a life that reveals this greater purpose.

Anyway, as you mentioned, not everything that happens is necessarily 
God’s will. That’s true. But I think that in this case, as we placed 
our lives deliberately into His almighty hands and prayed specifically 
that God’s will be done in our situation, that His will was done, just 
as it was for Jesus when He prayed the same thing. I also believe that 
God always answers the prayers of His faithful as He lovingly does what 
is best for us, even though we can’t see it. Things aren’t always what 
they seem.

And as for not being able to say goodbye, we don’t have to. I didn’t 
either. I just said, “I’ll see you later.” I’ve said that to other 
Christians that I knew were dying and I LOVE being able to do that. We 
will be together again–and as I told Tim, it will seem (to him anyway) 
like we were never separated. When God wakes us up, we will all be taken 
to heaven together. It’s a little tougher for the rest of us, but it 
will happen just the same.

I think you’ll be happy to know that Tim told me that more and more he 
was satisfied with the path his music had taken, even if he couldn’t do 
it full time. He was glad that he was able to share his thoughts 
through music with others, no matter what the outcome. I was so glad to 
hear him say that and know that he meant it.

I hope our families can stay in touch, especially for the sake of my 
children. I don’t know how often this can happen, but I would love it 
if you could hear and encourage them in their musical talents. They’re 
both taking piano lessons right now, since January, and Elaina has taken 
well to the “fake book” approach to songs, based on the melody and chord 
charts. Caleb has been doing the more traditional lessons from the same 
teacher to get more of the basics down. His creativity hasn’t been 
diminished, but he gets pretty frustrated when he can’t play his pieces 
perfectly. I remember one time when you were at our house and Tim 
wanted you to listen to a song Caleb wrote and you listened as seriously 
as if you had been hearing one of Tim’s songs. That really impressed me 
that you wanted to be that attentive to him and what he was doing. 
Caleb really needs that.

I better sign off. I will send you a CD copy of Tim’s service–it was 
as celebration of Tim’s faith and life, just as he would have wanted it. 
Three families came up to our pastor following the service and asked 
about Christianity–what a powerful send off!

In His Hands,


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