Our dear friend Vickie Kraft – mentor, teacher and companion in the journey left this earth a few days ago. She was 87. We honor her life and her legacy.
We remember Vickie as a part of the very fabric of our lives. She was our mentor, Bible teacher, encourager, fellow traveler in the journey, sister-in-Christ and friend. She prayed for her friends. She was always available for a lively and frank discussion with her own distinct comments. Her laughter and her humor were contagious. She had a deep love for and dependence on Jesus and a sharp command of the Scriptures that was inviting. She was a strong, godly woman.
No one is indispensable in God’s Kingdom but a few are irreplaceable. She was truly “one of a kind – no one like her” person – unforgettable. She had an unusual gift for mentoring women in the faith and for encouraging others to mentor others as well. Teaching and training others in scriptural principles was her great motivation. She leaves an unmistakable legacy modeling even in her last months how to die well. She was uncomplaining and interested in others right up to the end. Hers was a life well lived. She will be sorely missed by her children and grandchildren and her many friends.
Death comes so fast. There is waiting, praying, watching and keeping vigil. Her family, her friends and Vickie herself knew it was coming, that eventually it would happen. In one split second she took her last breath.
Despite the anticipation we are never quite ready. When death does come, it seems unreal and almost impossible to absorb the immediate loss. Numbness sets in. The person’s body is still there but it is so obvious that the breath of life has been removed and the soul of the person is somewhere else.
How does one relate to this? What do we think? How do we handle all the emotion and questions? We miss her terribly. There are certain things we do know and they provide immense comfort in times like this.
We know that in the valley of the shadow of death her Shepherd accompanied her all the way. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4).
We know that “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15) and that to be “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-9). We know that “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life and he who does not have the son does not have life” (I John 5:11-12). Because she embraced Jesus Christ as her Savior we are confident that Vickie will live forever in the Presence of Christ.
Her death was not a surprise or a mistake. We know from scripture that our days are numbered -“all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139: 16). God loves Vickie as He does each of His children – those who have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins on the cross. He cared for her soul all of her life as a believer and took her to be with Him as she was breathing her last breath.
The amazing thing about this is the same Shepherd who accompanied Vickie right into the Presence of Christ is with each of us right now and will meet us in our grief. The Lord understood grief preparing his disciples for his death and departure in John 15:19,20,22 “in a little while you will see me no more …I tell you the truth you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices…but I will see you again and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy.”
His remarkable compassion and concern for His disciples just before His own crucifixion demonstrates how much He loved them and by principle of His character how much He loves us now in the midst of our sadness and loss.
We also know that we will join her one day to spend all of eternity worshipping the Lord together. “Because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence” (2 Corinthians 4:14).
For now, be encouraged by this link to a site from one of her church friends, Ban Capron: She is talking to a group in a living room just 2 months ago (58 min)
“Cypresses with Two Women” Vincent van Gogh Painting Oil on Canvas Saint-Remy, France:February, 1890 VanGogh Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe