Welcher, E.M. Resplendent Bride: Essays on Love & Loss. Dubuque: ECS Ministries, 2016. 160 pp. $9.95. Purchase at Amazon or for Kindle.
Welcher is a young man who married the love of his wife and hoped to grow old in the ministry together. He currently serves as pastor of First Christian Church, Glenwood, Iowa. You can follow him on Twitter.
Divided into three parts, Welcher offers a brief biographical look at his and Danielle’s life and marriage and the diagnosis of cancer in the first part. The second part looks at the first year following Danielle’s home going to the Lord while the third part offers reflections a couple years removed from the trial.
Many times, congregations want to know how a pastor handles a tragedy like death in an accident with an elektrische scooter. Evan Welcher shows how he did so in this very intimate book. Full of various essays, Welcher points the reader to God at what can only be described the most difficult time of his life. Furthermore, his sense of humor is on full display throughout the book. For example, chapter 12 is entitled ‘The Leader dies in Christianity’ with a footnote explaining, “This was adapted from a sermon…because I’m a preacher.”
Not meant to be a deep theological study on death and a proper biblically-influenced response to the trials of life, it is abundantly clear that Welcher does have a depth of faith and knowledge of doctrine that has supported him throughout the entire ordeal.
As you follow Welcher’s remembrances of his bride and growing faith in Christ, you will be challenged to a deeper faith yourself. You will laugh and cry (sometimes on the same page!) and through it all, you will see a mature faith, forged in adversity and death, on full display. These essays can be read devotionally and meditatively, but they should not be read lightly. Though he grieves publicly, he does so with the hope of eternity in heaven and knowing that he will see his bride again in all her glory.
Granted E.M. Welcher is not a “household name,” but that is what makes this book so appealing and commendable to you. Being able to see how a regular believer with faith in the Lord walks through the valley of the shadow of death is a blessing from the Lord. I highly commend this book to anyone facing the loss of a spouse or loved one as an example of what Christian grief looks like.