Goodnight, Randip

For the last few weeks, we had been praying for Randip, a fellow believer who had contracted the dreaded C-19. Although I still believe HM Government’s handling of the pandemic to be cack-handed and authoritarian, knowing one hospitalised by it proved a sobering experience. For weeks, we prayed for his recovery. On Friday, the Lord took him. He leaves behind a wife and grown-up family.

We had briefly served together on the eldership of a church and kept in touch after I had moved on. He had visited Salem Chapel a few times and Christmas Eve, 2019, we spent at the home of mutual friends.

When someone dies, we melancholically gush about how wonderful he or she was, respectfully forgetting their faults and recalling only their virtues. Well Randip really was one of those good people whose faults, though surely existing, were well and truly hidden. He was gentle, kind, spiritual and wise. He was just the type of person a pastor would desire in the church, a firm shoulder to cry on, a strong arm to lean on.

We pleaded for his life. We interceded for his recovery. The Lord said “No”. I sent a card to his newly created widow. I didn’t really know what to write without sounding patronising or blasé. Yet the Lord, despite hers and our grief and earnest prayers, called him home. Perhaps his earthly purposes were complete; maybe his allocated toil was deemed enough and his Heavenly Lover was impatiently claiming his company. However sad we feel at his passing, and indeed the passing of any Christian whose presence we miss, his and their dying is a glorious moment of release, a fan-fared home-coming for which we all long:

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Ps 116:15

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