Hi all. This week I have seen community at its best. Practically, spiritually, physically – you know one of my favourite lines is that we are
‘created for community.’
Following a word prompt: community. Com(with)Unity.
We arrived at Green bay all set for a week of ministry Phil speaking on Ephesians 6. We unloaded kids and luggage; as usual it looked like we were emigrating. A baby faced skater noticed my van overheating – wait – that’s not steam it’s smoke. Fast-forward 5 minutes. Fire trucks arrive and douse my flaming Odyssey. I informed the firefighter that I had cleared the people should the car explode – he kindly informed me ‘that only happens in the movies’. We spent the week with the Green Bay family – and love to take part in their mission ‘to lead all people into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.’
I received a desperate text from good friends trapped in the Rock Creek fires. BC has experienced some harsh fires this summer and this was one of them. We stopped, dropped and prayed desperate prayers through tears right there on the dock surrounded by candy filled children having the best time. Our friends and many others surrounded by candling trees and without emergency crews able to reach them ran for their lives. Terrifying. Fire crews eventually rescued them and they found refuge for the night. Again we saw our church community step in driving for hours to bring them home.
My heart is with a good friend who has lost her best friend this week; she is out of physical reach yet close to my heart. Social Media often gets a bad rap but I have watched a community gather around her – a digital vigil of grief, love and support, then, stepping out of the virtual and sending her to her loved ones.
Kelowna was shocked and sad as we said goodbye to an adventurous young man from our community, Kevin was a free diver who lost his life this week in our own Okanagan Lake – a man who lived life to the full, having travelled to 25 countries already this year. Phil spent time with his family and tribe from around the world throughout the week and celebrated his life on Saturday. Kevin knew Jesus and was surrounded by family and friends as they said goodbye. In the devastation of tragedy – Jesus was present. IS present.
Josiah, my 8 year old theologian heard the story of Samson this week and mentioned that the gouging of Samson’s eyes wasn’t told and ‘didn’t he kill the philistines and die himself Mom?’ I explained that was the story, but perhaps not the best ending for children’s fireside. I reminded Josiah that we don’t live a Disney Christianity with constant happy endings and life doesn’t always happen as we’d like BUT there is always a bigger story at work and we know that God is good, faithful and present in all.
I’ll leave you with the hope filled words that Phil read at the celebration of Kevin’s life – a man who always pushed through the wardrobe.
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” – C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.
I pray you are able to love and be loved in your community this week,
Love, Michelle xo