On November 7, 2016, I got a text message from my sister that my younger cousin, Desiree Lampkin had passed away on a Sunday morning. I wasn’t even aware that she had been sick. Though, just several years earlier, in 2010, her twin sister had lost her life to an ongoing heart ailment at just 15 years old, far too young. Naively thinking that perhaps God would ultimately spare her twin sister, this would not be the case. My faith tells me we must maintain belief even against the unknown, that we should not question the mysteries of the universe, or life and death, but accept them as a natural extension of our life cycle on this planet. As anyone who has ever lost someone, a friend or a relative perhaps, though we may adopt this concept in principle, rarely does it ever ease the dreadful sting that pierces the heart and soul once that person transitions.
The news I received was just two days prior to the 2016 Presidential Election, which ultimately resulted an an outcome that I, nor at least 3 million other voters did not expect. Subsequently, the next several weeks left me with immense emotion, displaced upon a work routine and an obligation to fellowship. More aptly put, I felt a sense of burn out, detachment, purposelessness. But, there was one thing that kept me motivated, an online video uploaded by my cousin shortly before she passed away.
The video was about five minutes in length, but the message entailed was simple and concise, as if she was speaking to me, “Cousin… you got to have that STUPID, DUMB FAITH,” she said. I was blown aback.
STUPID. DUMB. FAITH.
“My faith tells me we must maintain belief even against the unknown, that we should not question the mysteries of the universe, or life and death, but accept them as a natural extension of our life cycle on this planet.”
That sentence above, entails what is not printed in bold and all caps… it tells us that faith is only truly present when we let go… let go of what we cannot control. The universe, life and death, time and space, are all out of our control. The young woman who left us for a higher plane, Desiree Lampkin, was wise beyond her short 21 years on this earth. The pain and stress she had endured from years of hospital visits, needle pricks, and the untimely death of her twin sister required her to find strength in something beyond the limits of her own capacity, physical or mental. She was a vibrant, wise and humorous young woman who loved to have a good time. Though years separated us in age, and distance limited our physical interaction, I always saw her and her sister as special… in an unspoken sort of way, they were in fact ‘the family’s twins’, our own personal treasure. But, even in death, the lessons of her faith and fortitude to endure continues to teach, from beyond this life, she has given me enough to keep going, and I will forever be thankful for her time with us in this life.
-Demond Childers is a year 5 fellow with Challenge Detroit. His host company is Clark Hill, PLC. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter via @coldwideworld.