The Servant Song
Sing to the Lord #679
We are pilgrims on a journey;
We are brothers on the road.
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.
I will hold the Christ light for you
In the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
Speak the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping;
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through.
Upon hearing of the double tragedies in Oklahoma I walked out onto my balcony for quietude. The pastoral serenity of the view before me was so beautiful I photographed it. Like the lives of those we love, I knew the scene would change, the leaves would fall, time would go on, the memory of this beauty and picture of it would soon be a treasure kept forever in my heart.
There are other pictures of treasures kept within the heart of our Bethany family. The treasure of Professor Paul McGrady, Gene Coburn, and Paul King is a picture kept forever in our heart. A rain slick road in Tulsa and an instant of time took from us our beloved professor and half of our college quartet. Wally Renegar left a girls basketball game in Sawyer Center. Telling friends he was running home to check on his wife and would be back for the men’s game he stepped from the curb on 39th Expressway into eternity. In the darkness of those hours it felt like we would never smile again but through the forever sigh of our loss, we have.
At a moment like this today in Oklahoma words fail. Yesterday I simply posted a candle. The ministry of presence when words fail. It is Sunday night in Bethany now. Dawn is breaking here in Swaziland. Even with breaking heart and the ache of reality, somehow daylight seems to help a little.
Southern Nazarene University and Bethany First Church of the Nazarene have entered into a Partnership with Swaziland. For over six years the partnership has mostly flowed from Bethany to Africa. But today, now, in this moment of unspeakable sorrow and loss, the Partnership flows back to you from Africa to Oklahoma. In a conference room at Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital Emmalyn and I held hands with African doctors and administrators praying with them for you in Oklahoma and Texas. We hurt with you. We reach out across the ocean to embrace you. Your tragedy is our tragedy. You are not alone in agony and disbelief. We weep with you.
A moment like this causes us all to contemplate our own lives. It does me. It is only realistic to think about our own death for as in Adam all die. But the rest of that verse goes on to say, “Even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Respectfully we treasure those we’ve lost and remember them. Their lives remind us all that we are living in the “dash” of dates on our own tomb stones.
Their gift to us today is a reminder that time is precious. Time is fleeting. Our time on earth is not forever.
They Remind us
Only one life twill soon be past
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
“……we shall all be changed-in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye. …Death hath been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting? …He gives us victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore my brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor for the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Cor. 15;5-58