Sunday, August 30, 2009

twenty five years ago today. . .

we were in a car accident that changed our lives forever. I've already written about the tragedy that took our son, Jonah, and I won't go in to that today. I want to write about the ways God is still using our pain to comfort others.

Twenty five years later

We got up and drove to church in Estacada today as if it were any other Sunday. We walked into the foyer and Greg was greeted by a nice man named Bill who asked him if he'd give the communion meditation. I thought he was joking, but apparently the person scheduled to share his thoughts hadn't made it to church that morning.

And so Greg got conscripted into service.

I love my husband--he said he'd do it and spent a good portion of our worship time flipping through his bible for just the right verses to frame his thoughts. When the time came, he took the mike and shared with a roomful of folks we hardly knew about the worst day of our lives--the car accident that claimed our son.

Greg emphasized that the only things that will last are relationships in Christ. And because of Jesus' sacrifice, we have the wonderful hope of heaven. Greg talked about Jonah's autism and how excited he was to be reunited with his no-longer-handicapped son. I saw the man sitting next to me wipe away tears as Greg offered up a prayer.

During the break (the Estacada Fellowship has a "howdy-do" time right before the sermon), the pastor approached Greg and said, "I feel like you are supposed to preach this morning."

Without missing a beat, my awesome husband replied: "OK."

And he proceeded to preach from the book of Job with no notes, no preparation or powerpoint, straight from his heart. He addressed the issue of suffering and loss, sharing from our own experience, not realizing that there was a precious man in that room who'd recently lost his granddaughter in a terrible accident.

That man "just happened" to be visiting in Estacada that morning--kind of like Greg "just happened" to get asked to preach on the spot. And I "just happened" to be introduced to the man after the service and discovered we had more things in common than we could have known . . .

God just rocks my world! How awesome that He still brings comfort and hope from a tragedy that reshaped our lives so many years ago!

And did I mention that my husband rocks, too?


Pamela Harvey said...

I love watching God work! I never cease to be amazed at how He used our pain and suffering to comfort others and draw them to Him. Thinking about you today. I still remember where I was and our family's reaction when we received the news 25 years ago today. We love you soooo much!

Michelle Simpson Photos said...

Incredible! I just love how the good that comes out of terrible tragedy can be so amazing.

Sheryl Millard said...

Shawn, that is so awesome!! You both are truly inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing.

Love & Hugs - Sheryl Millard

Teresa Lee said...

Dear Shawn,
Thank you for sharing...I didn't know you had lost a son. I am thankful that God's grace has covered and continues to cover you. I would love to read what you wrote about that day, someday....
I love you. Hugs, Terry

Valerie Foskett said...

That is such a cool story! Thank you for sharing that! I love how God works!

Debra said...

Thank you for sharing. I think you husband rocks too! I remember getting the news that day. I just shared the story with my kids and our visitor yesterday. I love you both!

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