Farewell, Ravi

How do you pay tribute to a hero? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Really, there’s not much I think I can say after my recent post on Ravi. I woke up this morning next to my wife and before long, she saw the news on Facebook as she checks before I do in the morning. Ravi had passed away. I texted my father-in-law and told him I wanted to go to the funeral if they went, messaged another friend of mine, and called my Mom to tell her.

There was a quote that I read years ago that said that when you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. Ravi lived that life. If I went through my Facebook feed, I am sure that I would find several people sharing the post from RZIM about the passing of Ravi.

My first attraction to Ravi came in the book The Case For Faith. I started listening to his podcast after that and the way he spoke and presented himself just enthralled me. His unique perspective coming from his east teamed with that accent gave him a great charm. I read all of his books that I could.

The last time I saw him was he was speaking at a church about his book Jesus Among Secular Gods. I never would have thought that that was the last time that I would ever see him. If I go to the funeral, I will see a Ravi that I never wanted to see and many of us who saw a picture of him with the cancer affecting him so much saw someone who was practically unrecognizable.

As RZIM and the family prepares for a service, keep in mind the mourning is not for Ravi. He is with Jesus now. It is for us. It is for the family. It is for everyone left behind. We are mourning.

Let us remember then what Ravi would want us to remember. As 1 Thessalonians says, we mourn, but not like those who have no hope. It’s not as a pastor I heard once say at a funeral though. We don’t rejoice because we will see our loved ones again in Heaven. We rejoice because they will be resurrected again one day and then we will see them.

Ravi’s body that goes down will be the same one that comes up again, but it will also be different. It will be a cancer free body. It will be a body that will be full of life and vitality. It will be a body that is empowered by the Holy Spirit.

C.S. Lewis once said that if we saw one of our fellow men in their resurrected state, we would be tempted to bow down and worship them. It’s amazing to think if he’s right that Ravi will look totally different like that the next time we see him. Not only that, but we will be seeing him along with Jesus, and Ravi would definitely want us to be looking at Jesus.

Come to think of it, that’s what Ravi would want us to do now. He would not want to be remembered for him. He would want to be remembered for what he did for Jesus.

What would he most like us to do in response? To serve Jesus all the more. If you want to honor Ravi, then go and live your life for Christ and Ravi will be pleased, and again, not only will he be pleased but so will Jesus, which will mean the most to Ravi.

Farewell, my friend. Until we meet again.

In Christ,
Nick Peters