A Time to be Silent

Monday evening I was in the gym with my son’s basketball team and two other teams  practicing.  The gym echoed with the bouncing of balls, the squeak of shoes, the shouts of boys and coaches.  Then silence suddenly came.

The coach of the varsity team, David Hartman, received news that his daughter had been in an automobile accident on icy roads.  His nine year-old grandson, Skyler, a player on our elementary team, was in the car also and had been instantly killed.

I embraced David as soon as I heard.  The feeling of his sobbing, heaving chest with its broken heart against mine stayed with me even after he rushed to see his daughter.  That sensation still remains.  I will never forget it.

There is a basketball season, but there are also other seasons.  Ecclesiastes says there is “a time to die…a time to weep…a time to mourn…a time to be silent.”  Practice stopped, but men and boys prayed and cried quietly.  The games this weekend were cancelled, though it meant the end of a shortened season for most of the boys.  None are complaining.  Tonight we will gather for prayer instead of the game.  Instead of shouts and echoes, there will be sobs and embraces.

In the pain and silence, God is present.  Skyler went to be with the Savior he trusted.  His mother Rebekah is beginning the slow process of healing from her own broken body and heart, trying to get to the point where she can attend her son’s funeral.  Many in our community have shown an outpouring of concern and prayers.  Ministers, usually divided by denominational beliefs and schedules, have fellowshipped and cried together. Peace and love amidst tragedy reign.  Christ’s name is being praised.

God spoke from heaven to His Son on important occasions.  Yet at Christ’s death heaven was silent and dark.  Then the veil in the temple was ripped in two from top to bottom, a symbol not only of access but grief.  God’s  people can now come freely and quietly to the One who welcomes – for He knows – grief and a broken heart.


  1. Ron Visser February 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    In the silence of these moments God’s still small voice rings loud and stromng. The message is clear: “I am the Lord your God!” “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” “Comfort comfort ye my people.” and on ond on God goes in His Word with precious words of comfort, peace and encouragement. May our hearts and ears be atune to Him as he seeks to draw us closer to Him as we walk through the dark valley of death together.


  2. Simply Debbie March 7, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    Dear Pastor York and Miriam,
    My heart is with David Hartmon and His family over the passing of his precious grandson unto the arms of Jesus, our Saviour. My husband and I had our only beloved daughter, Amy, pass onto heaven after winning her battle against the terrorist called cancer. She is my hero and was so very brave. She had battled cancer or chemo affects from the age of 10 1/2. She passed to heaven from our living room and I so rejoiced for her because she was 33 years old and weighed 47 pounds. her body suffered so but her spirit was stronger and stronger every day as she transitioned to leave this world. October 23, 2011, it will be 2 years and I miss her every second. It has been a hard road. We have one son who just turned 28 years old and has been married for 4 years to a school teacher. Our son is manager/co-owner of a shoe store. He was very close to his sister although they were 7 years apart. The day they put a trach in and then a feeding tube into Amy’s stomach…he did not see her as his sister any more and never came back until her funeral. He said she died to him that day, although she lived 4 months longer. I don’t know if he has had closure…I ask him and he said, he has a few bad days.
    I guess I just wanted the Hartmon Family to know I care and they will be in my prayers…and no matter how strong your faith, it is going to hurt real bad at times and there are no short cuts through grief…you just keep clinging to Jesus and praying for His Mercy and cling to Happy Memories….see we had Hospice for Amy but we…my husband and me…gave her 24 hour care and we watched her suffer terribly….I had to get the suffering from my mind and remember her beauty, her laugh, always humming a tune…things like that
    In His Service
    Simply Debbie

  3. Barry York March 8, 2011 at 11:32 am #


    Thank you for your thoughts and sharing about your daughter. May the Lord continue to comfort you in your loss.

    We had the funeral yesterday for the grandson, and God is clearly blessing the family with His peace.

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