What I do know from prior experience and again this past year that those we love and care about who die in tragic circumstances and prematurely, we lose in bits and pieces for a long, long, time. So, when I walk into the lab where Jim taught or pass by the Weeping Cherry tree planted in his honor outside the Science Building entrance, or sit on the bench in the small garden by the labyrinth recently dedicated in his honor, I lament Jim’s absence. As a fellow band-parent, who attends all Goshen High School marching band contests, who sees Jim and Linda’s son Robert marching alongside our son Quinn, but do not see Jim there, I lament his absence. I lament, and then remember the image in Scripture that declares us to be ” the body of Christ,” an image that coincides with our claim to be a Christ-centered campus.
Then I remember Dr. Miller, who, having taught anatomy and physiology for so many years, taught us that, just like the human body, the ‘body of Christ’ with its spiritual DNA, not only decodes beauty, experiences joy, bears pain, but best of all, generates healing as part of the miracle of life. Then, I am thankful for the beautiful ways I have seen the GC body begin the healing process over the past year. I remember how so many surrounded Jim’s family with love, how so many comforted and held each other through painful times and I watched as the healing began. In the process, I rediscovered the truth that “hope never dies” because resurrection happens. I am utterly thankful that Jim lives on in those he taught — doctors, nurses, clinicians, and others — even now serving in major research facilities, in makeshift medical hovels, at countless bedsides, in operating rooms and drop in clinics — all across the globe and right across the street. Then I am thankful for the wonderful life of Dr. Jim Miller who bequeathed to all who knew him and were taught by him, a healing presence that will never die.