I had just arrived home from a trip to Springfield, Missouri, late Tuesday afternoon when my husband called to tell me that Chuck and Carolyn Myers’ daughter-in-law and granddaughter had been murdered in Samson, Alabama. The Myers are friends who have attended our church since 1997. In 2003, my husband performed the wedding ceremony for their oldest son Josh and his wife Andrea. And we participated in the dedication ceremony for their first two children—Corrine was dedicated just before this young family moved to Alabama a little over a year ago.
What immense sorrow Chuck and Carolyn must feel—losing a daughter-in-law and grandbaby in a completely senseless act of violence! Knowing their son, a deputy sheriff who puts his life on the line to protect others every day, has just lost half of his family in a matter of seconds at the hands of a crazed gunman. How do they even begin to process the emotion of such a loss?
I can’t imagine all Chuck and Carolyn are feeling and experiencing today. And I don’t want to make inaccurate speculations, but I feel that I know them well enough to know a few things. I’m quite sure they are so thankful for every moment they spent with Andrea and Corrine. I’m sure they don’t regret anything they sacrificed to in order to show them love. I know that the most important thing to them right now is to be with Josh and his other two children—to surround those precious loved ones with as much support as it takes to walk through the sorrow of the upcoming days.
We have walked through times of loss and grief with the Myers in the past year and I have watched them rest completely in the arms of God. Their steady faith has been an inspiration to me. They know that God alone is their Source and that only His grace is sufficient for times like these.
They are more aware than ever what is really important—knowing and loving God and loving and serving those He has given to us. Everything else is just “stuff.” Our jobs, our possessions, our positions, our plans…nothing really matters in times like these except God and those we love.
Tragedy has a way of putting everything into perspective, and it can teach us some extremely important lessons. Please don’t allow Andrea and Corrine’s deaths to simply go unnoticed. We can honor their precious (and much too brief) lives by sincerely asking ourselves:
- Am I living with the awareness that life is extremely fragile?
- Am I viewing every moment as a precious gift from God?
- Am I making the most of every moment given to me?
- Am I striving to know and love God, so when difficulties come into my life I will be able to rest securely in Him?
- Do the people in my life know how much I love them? How can I show them?
- Are my best efforts and energies given to the most important things in life, or am I consumed with temporal, less important things? What priorities should I adjust?
- How can I live with no regrets?
Jesus said it this way, “The most important is this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart. The second is this: Love others as yourself.” Please don’t miss the most important things in life!