There is nothing good about phone calls at 3:00 in the morning...
Unfortunately, there are no training manuals for what happened last night.
One of the bright young men in my youth group, Sam Thomsen, went to Scout Camp in Iowa on Sunday. Last night, his parents held their breath as they waited for information.
My heart dropped at 1:00 AM when his mother told me that Sam's name was not on the un-injured list. "However," she said, "we still have not heard the hospital lists."
But Sam was not on those lists either.
Sam lost his life in the tornado.
Today, there is a twisted feeling in my stomach. I keep expecting to see Sam jump out at me, smiling and poking me, trying to provoke a mini-wrestling match.
Sam was like everyone's little brother. He loved the Huskers (which resulted in many good-natured arguments between him and our Razorback preacher!) Sam had a never-ceasing smile plastered to his face EVERY DAY! I'm beginning to wonder if he ever had a serious moment in his life! Even while he practiced sermon delivery for LTC, all I had to do was crack a smile and he couldn't resist smiling back!
Most recently, I saw for myself that Sam had a wonderful gift of preaching. He crafted a beautiful lesson from God's word with no help from adults (beside his mom, asking him to correct the spelling!) His lesson was about his namesake, Samuel, and the way he listened to God throughout his life. Nothing could describe Sam better than that.
Sam loved helping other people. Last December, he went downtown to help feed and care for the homeless. In February, he fasted for 30 hours, raising money for World Vision to feed hungry kids.
Sam was a light everywhere he went. He was just one of those people who made your day better after you saw him. His sense of humor and kindness were evident to all.
Sam, I miss you, little brother. But I know you're wrapping up an awesome first day in heaven.