When Disability – and Death – Hits Home

Last December R.C. Sproul, Jr., son of the great theologian and father of eight, went through the heart pain of losing his wife to cancer.  On Wednesday he suffered another loss, as one of those children, his fifteen year-old daughter Shannon, succumbed to a lifelong disability she had.  Please pray for their family.  A concise and moving tribute to Shannon can be read here.

These tragic situations always raise questions.  A few years ago, Joni Erickson Tada produced a video featuring the Sproul Family as they applied the sovereignty of God to the presence of Shannon in their family.  Go here to watch both grandfather and father Sproul express the application of the doctrine of God’s omnipotence in their family.

If you want further help with tragedy, a beautifully written book by a pastor who lost his wife and several children is Death in the Home by B.M. Palmer.  Palmer, a nineteenth southern Presbyterian pastor, pays tribute to each of his family members and shares what the Lord taught him as he journeyed through death’s valley time and time again.

Traveling with others through suffering, be it personally, prayerfully, or meditatively as we read their stories, helps prepare us for when our time to do so comes.


  1. Nathan W. Bingham October 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Barry York, I thought you’d like to know that we’ve just today posted a video excerpt of the segment that featured Shannon. Thank you for sharing her story and for encouraging God’s people to pray.

  2. Barry York October 6, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Nathan, Thank you for making this available and known. I went ahead and edited my brief post to change the link and direct them to your site to provide easier access. May the Lord be glorified.

  3. Phil Pockras October 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    _The Broken Home_ is a nearly unique pastoral resource. I have used it with grieving saints many a time.

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