There are times in life when all our tasks, our plans, and our peculiar occupations take a back seat to our fundamental humanness and the deep questions of life that we all share. This past weekend we at Cardus were brought face-to-face with one of those moments. The news of the drowning death of Kenton Van Pelt, the 15-year-old son of our president Michael Van Pelt and his wife, Dr. Deani Van Pelt, leaves our muscles numbed, our hearts bruised, and our tears overflowing.

Thankfully—and this is true at all times, but especially realized at times such as this—we are not alone. Where our own words falter, we can stand on the shoulders of the ancestors of our faith.

The historic Heidelberg Catechism summarizes in its opening question and answer the basis of our hope, not only as we face the pains of death, but also as we prepare to continue life's journey in circumstances we had not previously imagined or prepared for.

What is your only comfort in life and in death?
That I am not my own,
but belong—
body and soul,
in life and in death— to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.