Many of you have heard of the murder that took place on our church property last week.
It happened Sunday, July 13, somewhere around 3 am on the street directly behind the parsonage. The young man who was shot was in his car at the time and made his way to the front of the church.
Somehow he managed to get out of his vehicle before dying there – in front of the large wooden cross.
That Sunday, all services and meetings were cancelled as the Police investigated the entire block. Yellow tape and flashing lights surrounded us as we watched them at their work.
Unable to leave the premises due to the investigation, it gave our family a day of rest – no peace – but rest.
The mourning family arrived early in the day and stood weeping, as close to the cross as the Police would allow at that time.
Now that time has passed and the Police have gone, many more have come and stood, sat, wept, and just stared at the cross.
Candles, flowers, stuffed animals and other less pleasant things (like unlit cigarettes and even a flask) have begun to fill the parking space where his car stopped and his life ended.
We wonder here what to do with all the pain and sorrow we see on the too young faces that come and go every day. Some bear the longing for something more. Others mask themselves with hatred.
The police have yet to catch the killer. So those grieving have no closure. The funeral was only a reminder of their loss, still so fresh and without purpose.
Tonight, one week has passed. God has pulled back another curtain for us. This time, we see the hurting hearts of those who’ve lost. But another thing has appeared, the deep need around us.
I’ve known it was there. But then I saw a young man – whom I might avoid on a dark street corner – weeping on his knees out of loss, pain and fear, in front of a cross he wants to find comfort in, but doesn’t understand.
And my heart breaks.
Once again, I am overwhelmed with the work to be done here. I’m never afraid. But how can we know which one needs our words? A moment of eye contact, of understanding.
How can we know? God’s Word floods my mind with the answers I’m trying to practically apply now.
May God bless and keep you all as you work daily, hourly, to obey His Word, follow in His paths, and enjoy walking in the good works He’s created in advance for you to do.