John Robert Dobbs (1990-2008)

Since I was disconnected from the electronic world, I was unaware of the loss that the John Dobbs family has just suffered.  John Robert Dobbs died on the same day as Joshua Mark Hicks….my son in 2001, John’s son in 2008.

Here are my feelings…about God…my prayer to God.

Frankly, God, I am sick and tired of hurt and pain. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with you–to praise you or to raise my fist to your face. I am presently at a total loss as I think of my friend John. I want to yell at you but I also want you to share with John and his family what only you can share.

I am at a loss of what to say to you but I know also that I am powerless to help John. Only you have that power. Only you can be a safe refuge. Only you can surround his family with the people who will be your presence for them. God, please, comfort them.

When, God, will you comfort all of us?! When will you finally and fully demonstrate your utter rejection of our pain and hurt? When will your kingdom fully come so that your will is done on earth as it is heaven? When will you rid your creation of this pain?

I am impatient. I hate how you stand around with your hands in your pockets doing nothing to stop this hurt. I don’t want to  hear the explanations, the rationalizations, the minimizations from your creatures trying to defend you…I just want the pain to stop. When will you stop it?

But I am left with no one else to whom I can give my hurt, my lament, my pain. You are all I really have since everything and everyone else is so fragile. You alone are strength, healing and hope. There is no one else or nothing else.

So, God, I will trust you. I don’t like that that is all I really have–it angers me. It seems so intangible and the world is so painful. But I do trust you because you have loved us in your Son and by the presence of your Spirit.

And I will trust that you will lead John and his family through this dark valley, that you will be there with them and that your staff will comfort them. Please, God, relieve the pain.

Please God, send your Son. My patience is running out.


John Mark

I yearn for the fulfillment of the divine promise:

Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.
    The former things will not be remembered,
         nor will they come to mind….
the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.

Never again will there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days…
They will not toil in vain
    or bear children doomed to misfortune…

Before they call, I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.”

Isaiah 65:17, 19b, 20a, 23a, 24

16 Responses to “John Robert Dobbs (1990-2008)”

  1.   Johnny Melton Says:

    Tragedy has struck not only the Dobbs family but also the Stephen Curtis Chapman family and a church family in Michigan. See details at this link

  2.   RICH CONSTANT Says:

    can we please stop useing the word death.
    i concider that word demeaning to our lord.

    lets just try and start something
    maybe it will catch on.

    i think it would put losses in the proper perspective of faith
    my brothers.

  3.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Death, Rich, is the reality–to not use the word is to minimize its evil. It has the status of “enemy” to the human race. Redemption is the reversal of death, but death is yet the reality and God has not yet fully defeated it. I await that moment with hope, faith and longing.

  4.   RICH CONSTANT Says:

    our faith our hope and our love,
    john mark is founded on life
    and the life that is given to the saints of god
    1Co 15:19 if in this life we have hope in Christ only, of all men we are most to be pitied.

    1Co 15:20 And now, Christ hath risen out of the dead–the first-fruits of those sleeping he became,
    1Co 15:21 for since through man is the death, also through man is a rising again of the dead,
    1Co 15:22 for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive,

    And the death we see is a perception.that we are predisposed to see.

    because of doubt

    as i SEE it today.


  5.   K. Rex Butts Says:


    I grieve the loss of mt son Kenny and I also live in reality of the hope we have everyday. But that does not take away the pain everyone experiences when someone they love dies nor does our hope mean we must pretend as though death is no longer a reality. If salvation meant we were no longer to acknowledge the horrificness of death, then Jesus as God incarnated in the G. of John would never have spent time weeping over the death of his friend Lazarus.

    Grace and peace,


  6.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Weeping and hope are not mutually exclusive for the believer. We hope in the resurrection but we grieve the reality of death, loss and separation. We grieve death itself because it is the reversal of God’s intent in creation (life). But it is a curse that will be reversed as we actually–rather than in hope–and really participate in the resurrection of Jesus that restores life. But until then we lament, grieve, complain, protest…and even doubt…because death is so real.

  7.   RICH CONSTANT Says:

    yes my brother
    and so it goes
    as always
    in prayer
    to the saints of GOD


  8.   RICH CONSTANT Says:

    If you two were here
    i would enjoy to have a little talk about the reality we speak of.
    and the reality we live in.
    My mom died recently I was able to get the strength of my faith to my children and to my mom and she was crossing over. I felt no grief and pain, but rel relief and thanksgiving.
    She had age related dementia.
    So my experience is a little different from you guys.
    Reading your books John Mark as I have commented to you in the past has brought me to tears of joy in thinking of my mom.

    Rex and John I’m so sorry for your losses.
    Your brother Rich in California

  9.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Relatively speaking, there are “good deaths.” But a good death is always relative, relative to the circumstance. There certainly comes a time when death is relief as you interpret your mother’s death. Death, however, in the biblical story is an evil, the enemy, the reality to be conquered and overcome because it is the opposite of what God created. God can certainly use death for good and it can be a relief, but nevertheless God ultimately intends to reverse and conquer his enemy which is death.

    In the case of John, Rex and myself, of course, death has no perceptible relative good. It is the loss of dreams, the loss of a life unlived, the loss of future.

  10.   J D Says:

    Thank you John Mark for your words. I know they come from a heart that knows my pain. I said (selfishly) last night in front of other people that I did not want to live to be an old man … to carry this pain for so long. My daughter brought my beautiful grandson and put him in my lap … to remind me that there is more love to to be shared in this life and God is still working and present. The tenderness of that is only matched by the fierce pain in my heart right now. We leave this morning for burial in north mississippi. Pray for us.

  11.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    My friend, you have been in my prayers constantly.

    Love remains…it will endure forever…and it remains here in this world despite all the pain. On May 21st I hugged my daughter and cried. Love continues; it does not abate. It is the greatest and most authentic experience in the world…and that love is from God himself who pours his love into our hearts through the Spirit.

    Blessings, my dear friend. May God give you peace.

  12.   RICH CONSTANT Says:

    In the case of John, Rex and myself, of course, death has no perceptible relative good. It is the loss of dreams, the loss of a life unlived, the loss of future.

    John Mark I just look at this world through different glasses.
    Isn’t it the loss of the dreams, isn’t it the loss of life unlived, and the loss of the future, that messes with your ability to live in the moment.

    The inability to handle “properly”
    The loss of dreams the loss of lives and the loss future because the death of a loved one.
    are you not saying exactly what we’re talking about.
    you project into the future the way this future should be so you’re predisposed to feel lost for the future
    if it didn’t go the way you intended. Which is what I would call normal.

    John Mark I know I’m not normal.
    And you’ve skewed reality all out whac from normal
    What I’m saying without getting specific and without going into a whole bunch of detail, which I could.

    Is that there is a balance somewhere for every one.
    Even for the hero.

    No matter where you go, there you are.

    I would just as soon and take a host Angels along with me.
    John Mark it’s my reality, hopefully faithful to the Lord. Paul said he would rather be at home with the Lord.
    I know there’s a lot of words on this subject,
    that I don’t understand.
    But I try to keep my projections about the future and everything concerning the reality of my future in balance.

    And pray that moment doesn’t come along that I am emotionally unprepared for.
    You’re right about communities though John Mark.

    Blessings John Mark
    Rich and his host of angels
    send greetings

    I don’t know I better watch all this stuff
    could get me in more trouble than I would want to be in.
    Depending on your perception or perspective or predisposition or God help us all.
    Whether you’re the Lord and you don’t think this is one bit funny rich.

    Blessings John Mark
    Rich in California

  13.   RICH CONSTANT Says:

    thank’s jm

  14.   Quiara Says:

    When my dad died last Easter, it was a “relative good.” Relatively good in the respect that the alternative at the time was that no amount of narcotic painkillers even dulled the pain of the cancer that devoured him from the inside out. But even as he visually wasted away before me, even as he grew weaker and weaker and even as I longed for his relief, I still grieved his death and (perhaps selfishly) wanted him to live. Here. With me. It was his death, in fact, that was the proverbial straw on this camel’s back that ignited within me the most recent fires of theodicy.

    This death, though a “relative good,” was not the intent of God. God’s intent for creation is life, unity, peace — not death, separation and pain. As immortal souls in mortal bodies, death will always feel alien and offensive to our core — because it IS.

    Why NOT call it death? That’s what it is. Is it a passage from here to the next world? Sure. Is it what happens to all mankind? Yup. Will it one day be defeated? You betcha. But is it now? Not even close.

    Today, yesterday and tomorrow, children and adults and teens and elders will succumb to the mortality that creeps constantly around us. To pretend it is anything less than a painful separation and an ending is to trivialize the pain felt by people every day. To say that we shouldn’t feel the pain is to expect the heart to deny its current brokenness. And, frankly, that’s kind of ridiculous.

    The Bible says not to mourn like those who have no hope — it does NOT say “don’t mourn at all.”

  15.   Ben Wiles Says:

    I write in hope that your pain made more bearable — even just a little bit — by knowing its impact on a reader.

    You see, for a few moments in August of 2003, I was on the other side of this. Through a quirk of genetics and an unhealthy, workaholic lifestyle, I was the dead son, brother, husband, father. God’s grace and skillful medical professionals brought me back, but it was a close call for a while, and I often wonder what might have been.

    Seeing what you and others are going through has helped remind me how fragile life really is, how close I came to inflicting this pain on people I love, and how important it is that I do what I can to never put them in the position you are in right now.

    Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

  16.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Thanks, Ben, for sharing. There are many angles to pain, are there not? None of them enjoyable, but yet we learn lessons that help us in diverse ways….and sometimes it makes a huge difference in our lives for the better.


  1. May 21 – A Shared Day of Pain with John and Maggy Dobbs « John Mark Hicks Ministries
  2. Remembering Joshua: Life is Hebel | John Mark Hicks Ministries

Leave a Reply