Ravi Zacharias Memorial Service, which held last Friday at Passion Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and which was transmitted live on Youtube, was a gift to us. A very special gift indeed. Seeing how much coronavirus has deprived the vast majority of people across the world from participating actively in the funeral activities of many people who have died this season or who the killer virus itself, has slain. Many grieving families have had to grieve privately. Some memorial services and funerals have been put on hold indefinitely in many places. Pending when coronavirus permits. Many persons who would have loved to physically grieve with those grieving, have been denied that opportunity. Of course, we have tried to use phone calls, etc to fill the gaps but whatever amount of comfort one gives over the phone, it never equals the amount of comfort grieving folks receive from physical expressions of solidarity through hugs, touches or just simply sitting still and saying nothing.
But Ravi’s widow, Maggie, his children, Sarah, Naomi and Nathan, United States Vice President, Mike Pence, the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, RZIM team, Pastor Louie Giglio, Ravi’s friends and loads of other people, decided to make some kind of opening for the rest of us to share in the painful loss, honour the memory of the great man, and the One whom he served so dutifully for 57years. For those of us who had not taken part in any memorial service lately, it was a worthwhile experience. All the talk about hope was so refreshing to hear, especially at this time when its opposite number is riding roughshod everywhere in the world.
So many moving things were said about Ravi, as was expected. What was it for you? Do you remember Pastor Giglio’s comments about the prisoners in Angola State Prison (the largest maximum-security prison in the United States) who built the coffin in which Ravi’s remains were buried? One of them marvelled at how God would allow him use the same hands that had taken human life, to build a coffin in which the precious body of Ravi would lay on his way to meeting his Maker. Amazing, Simply Amazing (to borrow the last words of Ravi’s late father-in-law just before he passed away. Ravi himself, often referenced those undying lines.)