Friday, June 19, 2015

unexpected deaths this week



News came through Facebook stories of the death of the sheriff in my wife’s home county of Montgomery County, Georgia.  Law enforcement chasing a motorist who chose not to stop ended in the death of a community leader, a husband and a father.  There aren’t many answers for this type of tragedy. 

A day later every news source is buzzing with the senseless act of violence carried out by a 21 year old white man who was at a predominately black church in Charleston, South Carolina in which nine people lost their lives.  The pastor who was also a state senator died.  Several of the church’s ministers and members were also killed.  This was an act of terror, racism and heart wrenching murder.  It was also an indictment on all churches and Christians.

Take it a step further.  One of our local deputies was found along with his vehicle in pond where he had been fishing the day before.  This eight-year veteran of our local sheriff’s office had a great reputation, and his death to this point has no reason of foul play.

we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

In each instance and early in the days after each of their deaths people are sharing that they knew God and have experienced new freedom by now being in Heaven with God.  What you might not know is that the three men I speak of who lost their lives this week were 41, 41 and 42 years old.  This strikes me as very difficult.  I am 44 years old.  Their lives were cut short in very difficult circumstances.

How do we deal with the pain?  For many people the screams of racism that are squelching the fact that children have lost fathers, a church lost their pastors, communities have lost their servant leaders.  In that light, I am very sad.

Often happenings as such make us stop, spin our wheels or even turn backwards.  Is that what God would have us do?  The answer is a sure NO. 

I provide no answer, but I will ask you and I to look to God for strength and for purpose.  It really is senseless to die early and by the hand of a person with an issue.  Some people will twist facts and like happenings to heighten their agenda.  Others will give no weight to the things that need to be mentioned.  What we must realize and lift is the fact that all people matter to God.  All black people matter.  All law enforcement officers matter.  All people matter.  This we learn because God loves people more than anything.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love architecture and beautiful glimpses of nature.  My family like yours has to have resources, money and such to pay the bills and buy food for our family.  Yet without our children and the people around us those resources wouldn’t be needed.  Without these precious people there would be little to no need for buildings or homes, and the beauty of nature would have very little meaning if we could not share it with people we care so much about.

Pray for those who have lost family and friends this week.  Re-enforce yourself to care for and protect what or who means most to you.  God has blessed us with life.  Cherish life, care for those who are hurting and encourage those around you to enjoy life and to follow God!

You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.  You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security.  He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.

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