Greg Laurie, a senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship, talked about how he deals with the loss of a son, especially on difficult days such as birthdays, Christmas and Easter. He shared that channeling his grief to helping others overcome theirs and talking about heaven have helped him survive all these years.
In a Facebook post, the evangelist revealed that at first, he was not keen on joining a club of parents who have lost children. Eventually, however, he found it therapeutic to talk about heaven as it allows him to think of where his son currently is and to cry with others as they spoke about their own tragedies. He is thankful to God that he and his wife, Cathe, are given an opportunity to inspire and spark hope in others who are dealing with grief same as theirs.
Laurie wrote, "Despite this pain and tragedy, if we can bring a little hope or a little comfort to someone else, then I am thankful God has allowed us to have some joy despite this tragedy."
Laurie lost his eldest son, Christopher, then 33, in a car accident in Corona, California in July 2008. The young Laurie was on his way to Harvest Christian Fellowship, where he served as art director, in Riverside, California, when his vehicle collided with a California Department of Transportation tractor.
Since the passing of his son, heaven has become a frequent topic in the pastor's sermons and written pieces. He admits, however, that he is more of a student of heaven rather than an expert.
In a blog entry in January 2016, Laurie revealed that he is skeptical whenever somebody claims that he has been to heaven. He emphasized that his beliefs are founded on the only "authoritative source" that he knows of — Jesus Christ.
"I think our belief in heaven should affect us while we live on Earth. Our belief in the afterlife has a lot to say about how we live in the before life, how we live in the here and now. The way we view the by-and-by affects us in the here and now," he wrote.