10 Nov Close to Home
Until last Sunday, the attacks always happened somewhere else. The mass shootings. The random acts of violence. I watched news coverage and cried and prayed for those people, far away, who lost their lives.
But last Sunday, the attack happened at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Twenty-six people lost their lives in this church just 40 miles from my house. This time, the victims were not strangers somewhere far away, but they were a friend’s niece, a coworker’s son.
This time, the attack hit close to home not only in geographical distance, but also in the realization that it could have happened in my own church. Last Sunday, my family and I did the same thing the people in Sutherland Springs did…we went to church to worship the Lord. Our Sunday morning began the same way theirs did, but it ended so much differently.
I keep thinking of those who lost their lives that day. I think about their last morning together. Did they get up and spend time with Jesus….not knowing they would meet Him face to face in a matter of hours? Did they kiss their kids and tell them they loved them? Or were they rushing? Were they irritated with spilled coffee and distracted with all the details of getting everyone ready for church? Did they argue and leave a fight to be settled when they got home?
Did they consider inviting a friend to church and then decided it was too uncomfortable and they would do it next week? It’s not that those details are significant now for the victims…because those sweet souls have entered perfect peace. All their moments have passed and they are enjoying eternity with their Savior.
But thinking about their last moments makes me stop and consider the moments that I still have. Am I making them count? Am I using the time God has so graciously given me in a way that is wise and effective? Am I making it a priority to take the love He has poured out to me and give it to others?
Am I stopping each day to look into my children’s eyes and really see them….really listen? Am I honoring my husband and thanking him for all of the sacrifices he makes for us? Am I protecting my time with Jesus and seeking Him with all my heart? Am I praising him for all of the goodness and the joy He allows me to experience in this life? Have I committed to seeking His face until I SEE His face?
I am not promised tomorrow and neither are you. Let’s grieve with our brothers and sisters and help in whatever way we can….and let’s commit to live like we really mean it. Let’s make our moments count. Not for anything this world has to offer, but for the kingdom of God. For those He has entrusted to us.
Jesus, our hearts, and our world are broken. Bring the healing, peace, and comfort that can only come from you. And may all of the moments we have left bring glory and honor to you, Lord. Amen.
If you would like to donate to help the families affected by the shooting in Sutherland Springs here are a few places you can give:
First Baptist Church Sutherland Springs (donate directly to the church)
GoFundMe for all victims families
GoFundMe page for the Holcombe family who lost 10 family members in the shooting
San Antonio Bloodbank is also in need of blood donations, specifically Type “O”. Giving blood can help people injured/hospitalized.