Thursday, May 22, 2014

Your Daily Brush With Death

This past Sunday was a day unlike any day I have ever faced. After being in ministry for 20 years, you begin to think that you've seen it all. That is so untrue..

We arrived at church earlier than usual on Sunday, when we pulled into the parking lot, Derek noticed something on a picnic table in the field near the gym where we meet for church. Derek said, "Is that a body?" I was like, no way, that looks like some sort of tarp - please Jesus let that be a tarp! I took Kate into the building and called over to a friend to tell him what Derek suspected.

Derek made a beeline to the table to check out the situation, and our friend, Tim also made his way over to the table so Derek would not have to be alone. After they surveyed the scene I watched them pull out their phones, and I knew that was not a good sign. A woman was so distraught that she took her own life the night before and her body was laying in the field right next to where we have church.

How do you take all of this in? I wanted to curl up in a ball and mourn the loss of a woman who I had never known. The heaviness was thick as all of the band and the set up team looked out at a lifeless body lying 200 feet from us. It was then I knew we had to do something other than sit in the thickness of the heaviness that had descended upon us all. We prayed for the woman's family and just prayed for peace. Then the guys stepped up and finished the task ahead of us.

It is times like this that you realize what a leader looks like. A leader has to step up and do what is best for the team and not what he or she feels like at that moment. Many of us wanted to mourn her loss but we knew that the enemy had stolen one life already and we could not allow him to steal any longer. I was so proud of our team, how they stepped up and led the church on Sunday. I was thankful for my husband, who had seen a tragic scene but stood up and preached a beautiful message on compassion.

A friend of ours said later that he never even noticed the woman's body that morning. Walked right into church with out realizing there was a dead person nearby. He poignantly quipped, "How many people do we walk by everyday that have death inside and we don't even notice?" It's true, there are dead people walking by us every day. Christians, it is time to get our eyes off of ourselves and reach out to a lost and dying world. There are people we encounter on a daily basis that are full of hopelessness and we carry the very hope that they need. We carry the resurrection life of Jesus. We must open our eyes to the needs of others.

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