Bernice and Russell Schaefer's Letter to Luther Svanoe, June 19, 1994

Note: This letter was forwarded to Pearl Ginther and family by her niece, Mim Rinderknecht, sister to our very ill cousin, Luther Svanoe. Since he has passed to heaven in 1994, testifying of his faith in Jesus as His Savior, we can feel free to bring this letter out to a wide readership, so that they too can be blessed by it.--Ed.

Dear Luke:

It was good to have seen you at the Stadem-Farm Family Reunion. It is only too often that we pass each other as strangers in the night, and like the Greek actors on a stage, we carry our roles, and hide behind a mask of conventional feeling, hiding the heart pains and ills that we feel lest we become objects of misguided and undesired sympathy.

Mim wrote about your lung cancer and the prognosis of a rapid demise. Since having had colon cancer I know what the possibilities were of having a shorter life ahead.

It has been a great consolation to me that God considers us of unique worth and value, that He sees us as positioned IN CHRIST, "Accepted in the Beloved" with all the acceptableness of Christ Himself, without blemish and without spot.

It is difficult for us to see ourselves as God sees us, in all the perfections of the Beloved Christ in Whom we have been engraced so fully and in Whom we are loved so deeply--if we could see as He sees, we would reflect more of what we have been made to be in Christ.

It was with your mom while at Bible Camp so many years ago that we first encountered a life to be lived in union with Christ. We have tried to give Him full measure in return for His having given His all--but what can we give? What does He need? So we gave Him our sins, our pains, our heartaches, and our disappointments. We found Him ample to our needs and His service worthy of our lives.

God looks at us and sees Christ--looks at Christ and sees us. It should be enough that we all are COMPLETE IN HIM, Co. 2:10.

We cannot offer a "weepy sympathy" for whatever days you may have, for each of us life is only as long as each shall live, whether a moment, an hour, a day, or decades. Whether short or long, God's love is never less than His ALL. So that we share, that we rejoice together with each other.

God loves you, Luke, it is there whether felt or not. No conditions or fences are placed on it. No merit or demerit is involved, only His giving.

Concerned, Aunty Be & Uncle Russ

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