This past week was incredibly emotional and difficult. The life of a pastor and shepherd is such that in some form or another, you go through the ups and downs – not only of your life but the lives of the men, women, and children you have the privilege calling “the body of Christ.”
In these recent days:
- One of our community group leader’s mother past away. She lived a long life but nevertheless emotional.
- One of our pastor’s grandfather passed away.
- One of our congregant’s cousin – at the age of 29 – passed away in a car accident.
- One of our congregant’s father passed away. Thankfully, she and her husband moved back to the East Coast this past month and was able to spend couple weeks with him before his passing.
- The expectant couple [who I’ve blogged about before] had a difficult turn of events. This past week, she again lost much of her amniotic fluid and was rushed to the emergency room. I’m thankful I had an opportunity to spend some time with them at the hospital yesterday. Things appear precarious as doctors expected the baby to arrive “any hour” since she was several cm dilated [she is only 23 weeks into her pregnancy]. Fortunately, the baby’s still inside her womb and needs to stay in for at least couple more weeks.
- And then, last night…incredibly painful news as I heard the news of a young man at Quest [recent college graduate] who lost his father yesterday in a tragic accident. According to the Bellingham Herald:
A 59-year-old Glacier man died Friday after apparently falling off a cliff near the Mount Baker Ski Area.
Robert K. Lee was found unresponsive at the base of the cliff near Chair 1 by members of Mount Baker Ski Patrol at around 2 p.m., Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Doug Chadwick said. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
Deputies examined footprints in the snow and believe that Lee was searching for skis at the top of the cliff when he fell, Chadwick said. It appears he was alone at the time.
Chadwick said the area where Lee fell is separated from the ski area by two rope barriers and signs advising of the danger of cliffs.
JL’s former college pastor in Bellingham remembers Mr. Lee who was a missionary in Thailand. Deep condolences to JL and his family.
My temptation is to want to “fix” things. I can’t fix them. I can just be present to come alongside these moments of deep pain and questioning. While it may not always soothe the immediate pain, our source of hope and meaning is in knowing that God through his son Jesus Christ ultimate has fixed things.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:36-39