Stan Hines died tonight. Stan was the husband of first grade teacher Mary Hines of St John-Emmanuel Lutheran School. His health deteriorated rapidly recently and only in the last week had entered hospice care.
Stan and Mary have understood (and Mary will experience even more in the days ahead) that Lutheran Spirit is a lot of things and certainly one of its biggest components is mercy.
Stan’s health was cause for great concern, enough concern that Mary was needing time to care for her husband. That care was appropriate and needed.
The care for the Hines came also from the community - the Emmanuel Soest community, the St. John community and the SJE school community. The outpouring of mercy, of compassion, exhibited itself with lawn care, with canning garden foods, and even uniquely giving them their privacy. Mercy came in the the school’s administration making it possible for Mary to have time with Stan during these last days of his life even as school was started.
And then uniquely, those students - students who have known Mary as their teacher, but even students who are just bubbling with the love of Christ, have prayed and made cards of care to let Stan and Mary know they are loved. Two 7th grade girls started selling hair ties, bracelets and bookmarks. Two 5th graders made “slime” for purchase. And the entire school community has had them in their prayers and designated their chapel offerings for the Hines family.
School is just a few weeks old. Routines are just getting established.
SJE is experiencing something right now that isn’t normal for the beginning of a school year, let alone at any time of the school year.
But there is certain confidence and peace that Lutheran spirit brings to this time of mourning. Lutheran spirit oozes with the confidence that our Redeemer lives and He has gone to prepare a place for each of us. Stan has joined the angels and archangels and all the company of heaven in constant hosannas.
SJE and our Lutheran schools share with Mary our deepest sympathies. But oh, we have so much more than sympathy. We have a crucified and risen Lord to share and He is Life indeed- for us and surely for Stan.