This is Pastor Tim’s Article that appeared in the Evening Leader on Tuesday, Sept 12, 2023
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire community for your outpouring of love and support for the Poff family in the passing of their daughter, Jersey. To know Jersey was to love her, she was one of the sweetest kids I have ever known. It is obvious that I am not the only one who felt that way because the way the community came together was an extraordinary expression of love. The family knows it and they appreciate what you have done.
The pressing question that everyone has at a time like this is how could God allow something like this to happen? We know that God did not actively contaminate Jersey with the infection, but it is also obvious that God chose not to stop it. Not only would we have gone to the ends of the earth to stop this from happening, but many of us would also have been willing to trade places and die in Jersey’s place so she could live. Yet, here we are and we have legitimate questions today.
The first thing I can tell you is that Jersey already had someone die for her. His name is Jesus Christ the Lord. When it comes to dying in someone’s place, it only works when the person giving up their life is without Sin. When Jesus died on the cross, Jersey’s and your and my sin were forgiven. When Jesus died, it gave us the chance to live and alive is what Jersey is today. She is alive and well in a place described by the book of Revelation chapter 21 as having no death, sorrow, crying or pain. She is singing in the heavenly choir, and she will be in that blessed place from this day forward.
You or I could not die that kind of death on Jersey’s behalf because we are far from perfect. Our desire to save Jersey notwithstanding, we do not have the ability to stand in her place because the only One who could stand in her place already has and Jersey’s soul has most certainly been saved.
However, I also recognize that was true regardless of if she died this past week or if she died 80 years from now. There is not a person on earth who would not have wanted that child here with us for as long as we could have her. The world is a worse place without Jersey Poff in it. That is a truth that no one denies. Why did God allow us to be deprived of her because her presence was a blessing to everyone? I agree that I could have used a whole bunch more years of Jersey in my life and that is how everyone feels today. And here we are, without her.
I know that this is not a satisfactory answer, but we live in a broken world and sometimes, this broken world shows us what it really is: broken. There is no other way to describe what has happened to Jersey than to say something was horribly broken. God made arrangements to deliver us from that brokenness, but that does not protect us from the worst this world has to offer and without a doubt, the death of a child is the worst this world has to offer.
This is where we encounter the real danger of what has happened. Who is Jersey Poff? Christian, singer, dancer, worker, student, ray of sunshine, soccer player, this list could get very long. If the fact that she was taken from us too soon is all we remember of this precious child, we do no justice to her memory. Please, remember her entire life, not just the last day. Being taken from us at far too young of an age is just one thing about her and it is not the most important thing because she was so much more. To just remember Jersey as taken from us too soon is to add insult to injury. This situation is awful enough, don’t make it worse by cheating yourself out of all of the wonderful memories Jersey left us with by reducing her life to one terrible detail. I know that is not an easy thing to ask because what has happened is so hard to accept and I am not asking you to accept it because I don’t accept it myself. But I am asking you not to allow it to only be that.
Don’t let only the bad thing that happened be what you remember because to do that you have to ignore too much good that came from Jersey’s young life.