A message to the church at Easter

The miraculous survival of Derek Lamoriss.

It was a week when the world froze over in northern Alberta. A week when mercury slid below forty and schools closed and traffic halted. 

When the power went off one night for a few hours, our hearts stopped too, and neighbours huddled around one another’s woodstoves to eat and pray. Not knowing that in this same week, in the same county, a man was sitting stranded, in his vehicle, stuck in the sandhills, for nearly three days before being found. 

I’m seated in our blue lazyboy chair when my husband tells me. It’s close to midnight and he’s just returned from a hockey game and I can’t even process the story for how scared I imagine this man must have felt. The terror of getting stuck on such a cold night, in a place with no cell network, and him in flimsy clothes, no winter dress, no one but him, no houses around. Just running the car as long as possible, tires spinning, in the dark.

It was a road grader that finally found him, nearly three days in. His feet had frozen, and parts of his hands, but somehow he was still alive, and it takes me a few days but then I find him too. No one knows his name because he’s not from around here but I find him in our nearby hospital. 

And when I meet this kind, older man propped up in bed with his black toes peering from white cotton wrapping, his stiff hands running through thinning hair, I tell him he is a miracle. That God has rescued him and his life is a miracle. And I hand him a Bible that he is very eager to read. For he’s been in the grave for three days and has come back to life.

It reminds me of Jesus. It reminds me of this time of year when our Saviour, fully man, fully God, gave up everything to die on a cross and enter into the tomb of the earth, into the belly of darkness, for us. Because in fact, he was rescuing us – he was joining us in our darkness, in our hell, in our life that was spinning out of gas, out of control, without any form of protection, connection, or hope – and after three days he pulled us out of darkness into the glorious light!

This resurrected life
For in fact, it is a miracle – this resurrected life. It is not one we should take for granted. We shouldn’t be here, we shouldn’t be loved, we shouldn’t have hope, we shouldn’t have a purpose – but we do! 

In these dark days of mental anguish and hopelessness, we, the church, are the light of the world. And as such, we must boldly declare victory over the darkness, for we’ve overcome it – we know Love personally. He rescued us, and we have nothing to fear. It is now up to us to pull one another out of the freezing cold and into the warmth of a Father’s love. 

Let’s rejoice, for we are in fact witnesses to the greatest miracle in history! Hallelujah.

  • Emily Wierenga is a wife and mother who is passionate about the church and lives in northern Alberta. She is the author of the memoirs Atlas Girl and Making it Home (Baker Books), and the founder of a non-profit working in Africa and Asia.

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