In staff this morning, I learned that they have called off the search for Jon.
I remember that sinking feeling. We did not have the resources to continue our search efforts beyond what the police were willing to do. Every step of those searches we hung on to the hope that we would find her, and then, not really. It kept the hope that she was still alive, somewhere, out there.
Back in those early times of her being missing, my mom would visit me in my dreams alot. I would wake up, not being able to shake the energy she left behind. Sometimes it was anger, about her leaving or giving up on me / us the family. Sometimes it was her, just lovingly walking away, like down a long road, and I could not catch up. Sometimes I could not get out of bed because I was just trying so hard to fall back asleep so I could see her and let her run her fingers through my hair and hold me and tell me everything would be alright, and she would tell me how strong and beautiful I am. I never wanted to wake up from those dreams.
I don’t have those dreams much anymore. I did have one the other night, after spending the day with my family for my birthday. It was not a warm and fuzzy dream, and it seems to have stuck with me the past few days. I’m sure due to thinking about Jon’s family, and spending the day with mine. What lingers is my sense of deep sadness and wishing I could have her back.
God of the mystery, be with the Francis family, as they search the wilderness of their broken hearts. Give them a sense of peace, and hope. Be with them as the long days ahead unfold, and give them a sense of your unfailing presence. God of all, bless them, and the community around them. And God of Mercy, be with all those who are missing, but never forgotten. Help those of us left behind. Thank you for the joy when it comes, and help us navigate the darkness when it comes, as it always does. For the gift of closure, we beseech thee. For the gift of comfort to those whose mourning continues and is never too far, we pray. In Jesus name, Amen.