Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lord have mercy

In my experience, death washes over us in waves. Fortunately, I have enjoyed many seasons of drought, when death is so absent that I almost forget its omni-presence. However, I have also weathered a season or two when death has been at high tide and the grief and difficulty of accompanying those I love through the deluge has been almost overwhelming.

For many that I love, this appears to be one of the latter seasons.
Kevin Rains and his remarkable community at Vineyard Central in Cincinatti have suffered through the death of two of their church leaders, Mark Palmer and Chad Canipe, in a one-month period. Both of these men had a passionate love for God, were innovative church leaders who invited many into God’s community and, perhaps most importantly, left behind wives and children. Please join me as I pray the Vineyard Central community through this difficult time.

Becky's church is enduring the tragic shooting death of one of the young men in their community. Having been a part of a church that endured a school shooting, I can tell you that the shock and the grief that follows these sudden events is often overwhelming. Please a moment to support this community in prayer.

Finally, another friend and her family is enduring through the despairing death of her uncle. Pray God’s mercy upon those who are crushed by the broken machinations of this busted world. Ask the Spirit to provide their family with solace during this time.

Like I’ve said before, I don’t think our Judeo-Christian tradition provides us with many answers about suffering. However, the fathers and mothers of our faith who struggled forward before us as well as our suffering servant of a Lord have labored to show us how, even in the darkest of nights, to hold out hope for the dawn. Let us pull upon the riches of our tradition as we pray, serve and accompany our beloved ones through this season of grief.

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