The earthly life of Levi Diersen (age 29) came to a sudden end on Wednesday January 6th, 2010 in an automobile accident on an icy roadway and many hearts are filled with anguish right now, including my own. A snowstorm was just beginning and the roads were alternately good and treacherous depending on where one was driving.
1. Loving husband: Levi was a loving and faithful husband. As their pastor I had the distinct privilege of taking Levi and Rochelle through pre-marital counseling and then officiating at their wedding nearly 3-1/2 years ago. Levi and Rochelle were great together and a near perfect complement one to the other. Levi loved his wife dearly.
2. Loving father: Levi and Rochelle were blessed by God with two sons: 20 month old Zeb and 8 month old Lance… or as Levi preferred to call them Superzeb and Lancerboy. Levi was a good father and loved his sons dearly. It is sad beyond words that Superzeb and Lancerboy will in all likelihood have no memory of their Superdad.
3. Spoiled son: As the seventh of seven children (seven children in 10 years) Levi will always be fondly remembered as “The Chosen One” among his siblings, due to his privileged place in this tight knit and loving family. Apparently when you are the last of seven you have the distinct privilege of being treated as an only child as well as being the recipient of more relaxed parenting. So according to some of the siblings it was a double win situation! Levi’s parents (Gerda and Zane) assured me that this title was not given to him by them…at least not verbally.
4. Friend to all: Levi lived to serve others. He absolutely loved helping others. He was a friend to all. He had no enemies. How could you not at least like, if not love, this guy whose name was Levi?
5. Godly man: Rochelle testified to me that there was not a day that would pass but that Levi would lead his young family in prayer. On the membership form where we ask people to give their personal testimony of faith in Christ he wrote (among other details) “I have no exact date of my salvation but at some point in my life I realized that Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive my sins and I trust in Him as my Lord and Savior.” That’s it right there! Stop the presses! In his own words let Levi speak to you all. For who knows what tomorrow holds?
6. Quintessential Smile in every Hy-Vee aisle: Hy-Vee (for you out-of-staters) is a local chain of grocery stores (I think they might have a few stores in other states as well) that has a well-known jingle that uses this phrase. Levi was one of the happiest people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. His very presence would never fail to bring a smile to my face. He had a magnestism about him, an electricity that flowed from his inner being…like a fountain of joy that bubbled over continuosly. If Levi’s smile was not used in their corporate advertising then Hy-Vee advertising officials missed out.
We’re having a funeral service for Levi here at Crossroad Church in Earlham this coming Monday (Jan. 11, 2010) at 10:30 a.m. I expect it to be the largest funeral we have ever had in our church building.
One of Levi’s favorite choruses was “As the Deer” from Psalm 42:1 “As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” Levi, may your soul pant no more for your faith is now sight. What you beheld as through a glass dimly you now see with utter clarity. But we can’t see that just now…not yet. But we will one day.
(Update on January 4, 2011. It has now been nearly one year since Levi died and yet it is still so painfully fresh…especially to the immediate family members whose grief I cannot possibly know regardless of my own experiences of grief and loss. Each and every loss makes its own unique mark and like snowflakes no two are exactly alike. This blog post continues to remain a popular one based on the sheer number of views it receives. This has everything to do with the kind of life Levi lived and the way that he loved.)