I had a very brief but amazing conversation with Pastors Joel & Jennifer Saturday night at Covenant. The short version: As a paralegal, I’ve been working on a civil suit for the wrongful death of a family’s son. He was negligently killed in 2010 and the pre-lawsuit investigation is really getting going. (For illustration only, imagine your loved one being killed by a drunk driver. No warning. No notice. Just a notification that your adult child was killed in a horrific incident and a request that you retrieve his personal belongings).
This family that suffered this great loss is not like many of the other families I have worked with on death cases over the past 15 years. This is a family with deep ministry roots and ties to kingdom business. The grandfather of the deceased young man is a preacher, a missionary, book author, and currently writes a Christian fiction podcast. They volunteer numerous hours each week working with sexually abused children and their families. They would do just about anything for just about anyone. And this family’s heart is “our family has done so many things for God, and look how that worked out for us”.
A still image flashes through my mind of Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth where my oldest son was a patient in 2000. I remember child after child after child after child that died while we stayed there. The care flight team landed, the space suit staff wheeled the children in for emergency procedures, the child was put in ICU, the child died. Sobbing parents left the waiting room. Going from the cafeteria back up to ICU, I would often share the elevator with space suited people carrying a small ice chest of a child’s body parts for an emergency organ donation procedure. The thought again came to my mind that another family had lost a child in order to bring the organ to this other child who was gripping for life. In hindsight, the ICU floor is not the best place to be if you need your faith increased. Child after child died day after day week after week while we were there. I’ve never seen anything so heart wrenching. Pastors & Intercessors, don’t forget to stop by a chapel at a Children’s Hospital by ICU sometime. That’s where truly desperate people are). What can I say to those families? His grace is sufficient. Ha. I don’t think so. Again, I have no credibility (street credit) to give advice. Hugs, love, and meals yes but advice NO WAY.
But guess what? We do all have some type of street credit.
There is something you have gone through that at the time was so incredibly difficult but, with God’s amazing grace, you made it through it. For me, it was teen pregnancy, facing the option of abortion or forced marriage and quitting school, being a single parent, climbing my way out of devastating poverty (public housing, food stamps, Medicaid, social services), choosing to raise my children in church despite being looked down at by many Christians for my poor choices. (By the way, when Christians look down at non-Christians, non practicing Christians, people with “no fruit”, people trapped in sin, backsliders, etc. it really doesn’t make them want to come to God it just makes them hate Christians and avoid church….)
Everyone has a history and a difficult personal experience that gives them the “street credit” to walk someone else through their difficult time. You don’t necessarily have to write and publish a book. Just pick someone that you know who is going through what you went through and encourage them, help them, pray for them, send them a card for no reason, post on their FB wall LOL. You just might be amazed of how much difference you could make in their life at an extremely minimal personal cost to you. You may also be amazed by how touched and blessed you will be in the process.
Use your street credit (aka your shared sufferings) for good. Let someone else learn from your life experience. Help another person along the way when the journey gets difficult. Allow God to use your mess for His message and the test for your testimony.
Social media hugs.