Sometimes life becomes overwhelming.
Have you ever felt like that before?
I sure did last week. I was sitting inside Lima Community Church, getting lots of great leadership tips from the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, when an Elida parent came and told me about the car accident, involving Elida football players, that ended up claiming two young lives.
What do you say in those situations?
What do you do?
Our Pastor, Doug Boquist, and Youth Pastor, Phil Starr had already left to go to the hospital. I knew there would be other Pastors from other churches there too. Part of me thought that I should go as well. After all, I am the FCA area rep and this involved the football team. I should be there to help and give support, right?
But I didn’t go. I didn’t feel like I was supposed to, for whatever reason. I stayed there at church and as the video simulcast continued, I went to my twitter account and started connecting with Elida students, teachers and coaches, to let them know I was praying for them. About a half hour later, Bryce Brown, an Elida junior who had been attending the Leadership Summit, told me he was going to the school and was going to organize a prayer time. He asked me if I would come.
So I posted about the impromptu gathering on twitter and facebook and we made our way to Elida. Bryce got there first and by the time I arrived there were already 50 students there. They were hurting, in shock, and not sure what to do. We circled up around the flagpole and as we took turns praying, more students and a few adults started to join in. We didn’t know what to say, so we cried out to God for the victims, the hurting families, and our own broken hearts. We asked God to show us His love in the tragedy and thanked Him that it was OK to cry like Jesus did when His friend Lazarus died. We thanked Him that it was alright to ask Him questions and to pour out our souls like David did.
By the end of the night, 150 folks had gathered and God has met us there, to let us know He was with us and that His heart breaks for His children as well.
As I went home that night, I found myself weeping. There are so many people around us that are hurting inside. We don’t always know they are hurting, but as we look at our own lives, we know the hurt is there or has been there. I didn’t know the students in the accident, but yet I had a deep, other-worldly love for the coaches and administrators and students at Elida that caused me to be overwhelmed with emotion.
God has chosen His children to be hurt-helpers. We mourn alongside our friends for the hurt in their lives and we walk with them to the arms of our Father – the only one who can truly heal.
What Jesus said is so true. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
How can you be a hurt-helper? Who in your life, can you walk alongside, on their way to the Healer?