The Game Must Go On

Late last night, we learned that a very dear friend of ours was found dead in a river. The incident is under investigation as a homicide. As I pillowed my head last night, I prayed for the investigators to have wisdom and discernment as they search for an answer for his dear wife who has been left shocked and devistated.

Hearing this news is a difficult thing for all of us and as I awoke this morning I am reminded once again that life is short. I just saw our friend three weeks ago and I am glad to say that I gave him a hug and I was friendly as could be. He had a smile on his face and a group of friends with him. You see, he came to our fundraising banquet. He had a personal biker ministry and he brought several of his leather wearing friends with him to support our efforts in furthering our recovery ministry. I always enjoyed hearing the loud rumbling of their motorcycles! It cheers my heart to know there are men and women who reach to the biker community for the cause of Christ.

Many people would hesitate at approaching a burly man, dressed in leather, donning chains, and decorated in tattoos. My friend never even thought twice about it! He could have a conversation with any person no matter how he/she dressed. At our banquet he carried on conversations with the men and women from all walks of life, men in our recovery program, a judge, an officer, a preacher, and children.

All morning I have felt a heaviness in my heart about this news of his passing. My heart is heavy for his friends and loved ones, most especially for his wife and family. I have taken several deep breaths this morning and it's only 10:30 am for me. In a couple short hours I will need to make lunch for my children, but his family may not be thinking about lunch today. They'll be forced, by this circumstance, to think about funeral arrangements.

Life throws us curve balls and at times when we least expect it. Are we ready for these wild pitches? Have we prepared our hearts ahead of time? Have we practiced our swing? Do we study the opposing team's movements? Have we steadied our stance and kept focus on the game? Sitting on the bench spitting seeds on the ground will not give us strength to play in this game of life. We must stay focused on the goal. Our coach is our guide. He prepares us for all possibilities. The fast pitch, the curve ball, and knuckle balls alike, they're tricky all right. Each and every day we are in practice, our coach drills us to make us wise and ready for the next possible pitch.

I'm not sure I was ready for this curve ball. I feel like the ball sped right passed me. I'm dazed and confused. It came by so fast. I have shook my head several times wondering where this one came from. I have no doubt his family is thinking the same thing. I don't know if the Ump has called it a ball or a strike. It went over the plate and I heard the thump as it hit the catcher's mit. The ball did not hit me, yet I feel hurt, bruised, and my mind is foggy.

I believe God's grace is upon us all during this time. A hitter wears a helmet to protect him from injury. I think of the armor of God. As I grabbed my Bible to find the verse to share with you, my mind was cloudy. I asked my daughter where it was and my son, who is barely five years old, says, "Ephesians 6:10." I turned and lo and behold he was right. Praise the Lord, my son knew the answer. He said that he learned it in a song from his Sunday School class.

Ephesians 6:17, "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"

Verses 10-20 are about being prepared for the war that we face each and every day. We are to have on the FULL armor of God, the loins girt with truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the gospel of peace, shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation. Once we have on our armor He says, to pray with perserverence.

We don't put on the armor only to sit on the bench. Each and every player should put on their uniform and wear it proudly. We should attend all practices and work hard as a team. We should be in support of one another and be in our positions. We listen to our coach and do as he instructs. Some of us will strike out, some of us will hit home runs, and some of us are injured during the game. I am deeply touched when I see an entire team surround an injured player and show their support and cheer for them as they're taken off the field.

A dear friend was taken off the field this week. He can now rest in the presence of our Lord, drinking from the streams of living water, basking in the warmth of the Son himself. The rest of the team is still here. We feel the loss of his presence as we enter the field for the game. We will miss him tremendously, but we are still in the game. We have many games ahead of us. May we be strong and well prepared for each and every pitch. May we be supportive in prayer, upholding those who feel this loss most deeply. In the Body of Christ, we're all on the same team, please keep his loved ones in your prayers. They're depending on us to stay in the game. The Lord already has the victory in the main tournament, but may we rejoice in knowing that we did our part.

Let's take time to reach those we would normally not want to approach, a homeless person, a tattooed biker, a dirty child. You never know who you'll be reaching. It could be the future star of the team.

In Honor, Love, and Cherished Memories of our dear friend, Bob Ring.

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{ Queen Bee } at: September 14, 2007 at 1:15 PM said...

Aboslutely beautiful, Sis. Praying for Bob's family and friends.

{ Molly Coddled } at: September 14, 2007 at 6:27 PM said...

Truly sorry for your loss and for his family's loss also. I've said a prayer for comfort, strength and peace for all of you.

{ Sisterlisa } at: September 16, 2007 at 8:01 AM said...

Thank you Ladies.

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