Steve Hayner died last Saturday.  I was privileged to work with him when he was President of Columbia Theological Seminary.  Steve and his wife Sharol had a ministry together that was wide and deep, not the least of which was the Caringbridge blog they wrote while he lived with cancer for these last nine months or so.  Steve signed all his correspondence “joyfully” – easy to say but often not so easy to experience in real life.  Steve and Sharol have showed us that living joyfully is possible when God is at the center of our lives- no matter what the circumstances.

In their own words:

From Sharol: ” I imagine that the disciples muttered when Jesus was crucified and buried “Why this waste?”  And yet, without this waste we would never know life as it was meant to be lived, life with eternal significance, death robbed of its sting and hopelessness.  Because of Jesus’ death, we can have life, abundant and eternal life.  In the past months I have muttered, “Why this waste?” and yet I am reminded that in God’s hands nothing is ever wasted.”

From Steve: “I woke up one day this week and realized that I couldn’t locate anything like a genuine ‘faith’ inside me which would provide enough strength to pray or reflect or to meditate.  But then it occurred to me that I didn’t need any.  God’s grace is not about me.  So whatever God has for me is going to come from outside anyway.  There are so many people who ask us how they can help – and that morning I realized they were helping by simply “being faith” for me.  They were welcoming God’s grace when I couldn’t even do that much.”

From Steve: “I wonder what new surprises and fears I will discover in the weeks ahead, or how God will guide these unexpected bits of my complex journey.  I want to come to the end with strength and courage.  But life isn’t always linear.  I realize that maintaining my balance depends on my willingness to face the unexpected with humility and transparency, as well as endurance and fortitude.”

Thanks, Steve and Sharol, for showing us how to live and die faithfully and joyfully.