If you could lead a life free of sorrow, would you? You cannot, of course. But even if we did have the choice, would we deny one of the deepest set of emotions that our Creator has placed within us? This book is about grief, not so much as it relates to death but about how it is a meaningful, even enriching, aspect of life. This is not a textbook. There are good ones that examine the process and stages of grief. Images of Sorrow, Visions of Hope is a book of stories and anecdotes from the author's life as well as iconic scenes from our culture that add flesh, bone, and life to the useful structure of the stages of grief. The hope is that the words contained here will create an inner and outer dialogue about sorrow-one of life's most individual, yet common experiences. J. Randy Hall serves as the pastor of Fairmont Presbyterian Church in Lexington, North Carolina. He and his wife, Jane, a school psychologist, have four children-Zach, Daniel, Anna, and Alex. They live in a log home that Randy designed and built. Randy, in addition to living through his own sorrows, has offered pastoral care to those in sorrow for over thirty years. He has led workshops and seminars on the subject for churches, helping organizations, crisis ministries, and adoption agencies. Randy holds degrees from Appalachian State University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Having served churches in Chapel Hill, Elizabeth City, and Hickory, North Carolina, he has pastored Fairmont for seventeen years. Mission work involving vocational training in sewing machine repair has taken him to Haiti and Ghana. Hobbies include travel, golf, exercise, dancing, and being with good friends who know what and when to take things seriously, including themselves.
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