Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lessons Learned

Sorry for the selfishness of my last post. There is a good update, though! Yes, the infamous Westboro Baptist Church came to picket. They weren't close by. Nobody paid attention to them...not even the media. Ignorance, false holiness, disrespect, stupidity, and misrepresentation of God...these things did NOT win. Grace, mercy, hope, deep respect and love for the family, smiles toward Heaven, hugs, and giving all our concerns and fears to God...these things WON the day!

The family had a visitation on Monday night. There were two rooms, one of which held the open casket for people to pay their respects. I waited tensely for the teenagers to show up, knowing they were anxious about this. I had urged them to at least come and be with the family, but they were so scared of seeing Sam.
Here's the cool part...
When they finally got the courage to see him, some cried (which is good), but one or two of the girls just turned and said, "It doesn't even really look like him" to which an adult replied, "That's because he's not there any more!"
Jesus said in John 6:63 "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing." Indeed. The Spirit is what gives life to our bodies. Without the eternal part, our bodies have no uniqueness. It's so hard for us to grasp because the body is what we know.

I'm so proud of the teens in my youth group. They've been through a rough time. They have been forced to talk and talk and talk about unpleasant things. They have learned at too early of an age that life is uncertain and fragile. They have been calling and texting to check up on each other!! They've been hugging more.


Tricia said...

I'm glad to hear that they were not able to cause a ruckus as they had hoped. God is always at work - in keeping them at bay, in growing your youth closer together, in this heartbreaking situation.

meghan said...

I am so sorry to hear about this loss in your youth group. May God continue to grant all of you peace and grace in this time of need.

I was reminded a few days ago that He really is the "Father of mercies and the God of all comfort who comforts us in our affliction..." (2 Cor 1:3-4)

Not to get theologial but the word "comforts" there means "to invite near."

He is inviting you near.

carrie said...

We had to go through similiar situations at our church when a teen lost a mother ane then our minister's wife (age 32) died in her sleep. As you say, the bodies do not look like that person. I think you worded that very well. We will continue to remember you all!