It Was A Good Death

Today, July 31, 2015 is the fourth anniversary of Chandler’s (Jimmy’s) early earthly death and the beginning of his life in heaven.

Christian and Chuck at the Falls

Christian and Chuck at the Falls

Typically, our family would be in Montana at the waterfall off of the Dearborn River where Chandler took his last breath, or beside his grave on this date. “Why in the world would you want to be there?” You’re probably thinking…”what a sad place to be!” This year, my family is scattered in different places, and we (Chuck and Rhonda) are in Colorado. We want to spend this day hiking around Quandary Peak and near the Snake River because it is crystal clear and bluish and reminds us of the Dearborn River. We want to spend this day reflecting and thinking about our son.  We will go back through the memories of his life- his birth, his childhood and teenage years and even his death.  We are proud of all parts of Chandler’s life and, even as strange as it may sound, we are proud even of his death. You see, Chandler died a good death (as every man desires), and as painful as it is to us we are proud of him for it.

Jimmy leading worship overlooking Steamboat mountain- His Last night and time to lead

Jimmy leading worship overlooking Steamboat mountain- His Last night and time to lead

Chandler was at a youth leadership camp at the time of his death, serving as a worship leader and a counselor. Before that camp, he was enjoying the mountains with his family, and before that he was attending Summit, an intensive Bible and worldview camp. Before Summit, he was serving as a youth counselor at “Jesus Camp” (a free camp for underprivileged kids and refugees in Dallas). And before that, he had just spent 6 months in China serving and teaching migrant Chinese kids. Now, we’ve been accused of “putting Chandler on a pedestal”, but truly our boast is in what the Lord did in Chandler’s heart and life and for Chandler’s faithfulness. Let me assure you, as his father and mother, we are very aware of his weaknesses and imperfections. But his weaknesses are for another post. This is about his death…his legacy.

Chandler loved the mountains, he loved the water and he loved the outdoor beauty. He loved worship, he loved God with all his heart and he was passionate about helping people. All of these things led up to and surrounded his death. It is a big part of what he is known for and will be known for. It is Chandler’s story, and according to the Bible, it is his story that will ring throughout eternity. After four years, Chandler’s ministry and influence continue to impact lives around the world.

Jimmy on Steamboat Mountain- within hours of death

Jimmy on Steamboat Mountain- within hours of death

That last hour they say he fought hard. For more than three minutes he fought that current, before he went under. And for over an hour he maintained a heartbeat. Our son is a fighter. But when the fight was over, we can only imagine the amazing scene of the angels carrying him out of that beautiful canyon and the joy on his face as he entered his peace and met his Savior whom he loves.

This is why we can say…  It was a good death.

Chuck and Rhonda

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5 Responses to It Was A Good Death

  1. Robin Riddick says:

    So sorry for your loss! I am so glad you shared about the positive influence he had on others!

  2. Dwight Lollar says:

    I am the UPS driver Jimmy helped out the previous year. I am so sorry for your loss. The news hit me while I was on vacation in Colorado. I enjoyed the time we worked together and will think about him often. I was amazed at all he had done in his young life. I only dare dream that I could ever be such a man that Jimmy is. God Bless all

  3. Alec Hansen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Jimmy’s story. I do TeenPact, and it is so awesome to see what a great and passionate young man he was. Don’t stop sharing and spreading the message that his life represents. :)

  4. Julie Uptain says:

    I am a friend of a friend who knew your son. My heart broke when I heard years ago about what happened. He was just brought to my heart again, so I googled him and found this page. What a wonderful young man he was and is, now with the Lord Jesus. Thank you for sharing his life with others….

  5. Anonymous says:

    A few years ago, I read quote from Chandler on the TeenPact website–”It takes a lot of love to live.” In reading about him, I thought that he must have been a very beautiful person, the kind of person that you would want to know. Maybe his parents and family are like that, too. In meditating on love today, I searched the internet just so that I could find that quote, and that young man, again. For me, Chandler left a legacy of love, powerful love. Love for each other is to be the hallmark of Christians–I’d like a legacy of love for myself. I hope that you will continue to keep Chandler’s legacy alive–some of us really need it.

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