Sunday, March 08, 2009

A time to cry

What do you say when you don't even have words to speak in the solitude of your own mind? What do you do when you know you should be able to fix something that is broken and yet reality says that it just cannot be fixed? Not by you. Not by me. What then?

A friend of mine died today. Okay, that is not really accurate. A friend of mine was murdered today. He was guilty of standing in a pulpit and telling people about the love and forgiveness of God. That's something that I do twice every Sunday. He was not walking down an alley or hanging in the shadows of high rise slums. He was in a middle class church in a middle class suburb talking to middle class people.

And a man shot him to death with a .45 caliber hand gun. The first bullet blew his bible into confetti like rubble. One of the next two took his life. And now a lovely young woman has no husband. Two charming and beautiful daughters have no father. A vibrant and growing church has no pastor. And the world is a much poorer place.


Because evil exists. Because it knows no boundaries. Actually, I think it knows the boundaries, it just delights in crossing them. A mad man in a state of rage trying to create a nuclear weapon to annihilate a city. A lunatic in a high school executing kids in random fashion. The face of evil in a place of worship attacking something that it can never be ... holy.


The last time I spoke to my friend was when I called him with a difficult problem. I had to make a decision on whether to remain in the ministry I was serving in or move to the church I now serve. I sat alone by the lake in my car and asked God to bring a name to my mind. Somebody that I could call and find the voice of wisdom. My Father instantly brought my friends name to mind. I dialed his number and reached his Administrative Assistant. I told her who I was and what I needed. She told me that my friend was in a meeting but to hold on for a few seconds. In less than a minute he was on the line, interrupting his schedule, putting his meeting on hold, and giving me as much time as I needed to present my dilemma and ask my questions. And then he gave me stellar, Spirit - led advice. Time has proven that he was right. I told him that I owed him lunch. I never got the opportunity to pay up.

Evil got in the way. I know that we win. Someday. By the might of God as His own Son bled out at the cross.

But tonight ... tonight is a time to cry.

(late night addition .. a friend reminded me that I wrote this post <--(Click there ... the link works but won't change colors) about FBCM when I joined it. It seems like an eternity ago...


Jen said...

Ron, I'm so sorry. I saw the story and immediately thought of you. I'm praying for you. For his family. For God to work through this situation.

Laura said...

Ron, I haven't visited your site in months; didn't known you'd moved back to St. Louis. I did see a comment of yours on Dana Loesch's site a few weeks ago and thought I needed to come check your blog out again. "Something" led me here today. ... am praying for you.
(The girl who told you about Sheffield Lake/the Sam Shepard case before you moved).

Melanie Davis said...

Our pastor told us about what happened during our evening service tonight. I am heartbroken. I am especially sensitive considering our experience at Wedgwood Baptist and the fact that we are in the ministry as well. Now that I know he touched your life in such a profound way as your friend it breaks my heart even more. I am sure you are one of the many hearts that are hurting tonight. May you all find God's comfort, peace, hope and healing. God wastes nothing!


Anonymous said...

Ron, I so very sorry. When I saw the story, I too thought of you. How very tragic. The Winters family and the church community are in my prayers, as are you at the loss of your friend.



Paula said...

I didn't see the news last night, so I hadn't heard about this until I read your blog. I'm so sorry about your friend. My husband and I have been in the ministry for over 30 years. This event doesn't strike fear in my heart but it does strike a deep note of sorrow. I have to remind myself that God makes no mistakes and precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. May God give his family and friends the comfort only he can give. Jen's Mom--Paula

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