Taking Flight

But We Still Call Him Father

For the past week, thousands of people have prayed on Ben’s behalf and have waited to see what God’s answer would be. This morning we got our answer and the answer was “no.”

Though it is not the answer any of us wanted, it is the answer we were given.

But we still call Him Father. We still call Him good. We still call Him loving. We will probably never understand in this life why God answered the way He did. However, one thing I am certain of is that without a doubt Ben was a light in a dark world and his impact, his love, his smile are certainly still seen and felt. His death is felt across the world, but any believer will know that he isn’t really dead but asleep (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) .

One Sunday when I was at home, our preacher, Chris, said something about how not everything happens for a reason, but that some things just happen. When I first heard that sermon, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. At the time, most of my thought process hinged on the idea that everything happened for a reason like most people believe and that all things happened for the good of His kingdom like most Christians believe.

Now I think I know why there’s something flawed in thinking all things happen for a reason because when you start to think that everything happens for a reason you start to ask God “why” and when you start to ask why, you start to walk a tightrope between a shaken faith and a shattered faith.

So I choose not to ask why but to thank God for the few years He allowed me to get to know Ben, to thank Him for the tremendous display of faith from his family and friends during this time, and to thank Him for His indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 5:19) because this morning an angel took flight.

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Writing

The Post I Never Wanted to Write

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This was never a post I wanted to write and it’s definitely one I never thought I would. It’s not a post that any one who reads this blog ever expected me to write about. It’s not a post that fits the theme of this blog. It’s not a happy post, a witty post, or an adventurous post, but it needs to be written.

Friday night a young man who is very close to my family was playing football and went to make a tackle. From what I’ve heard it was a clean hit, but something wasn’t right when No. 28 walked off the field. That night high school junior Ben Hamm was rushed to St. Francis in Tulsa. (Full story here)

Saturday afternoon I received the tough news that Ben was in a coma and it hit pretty hard, but I just keep thinking, “You know what, God’s got this. All I can do is pray. God is in control and He’s much more capable than I.”

I held on to that feeling, that faith if you will, until Monday morning and I got more bad news. His cranial pressure had risen to dangerous levels. Every time I checked Facebook, there was more bad news and more bad reports. And then Monday became Tuesday. I woke up to more bad and for the first time I wasn’t sure. I woke up and cried and just waited for the next update. I checked social media more than I probably ever have looking for anything new and hoping for something good. I didn’t want to go to class or keep any of my responsibilities. Then, I woke up Wednesday and saw a text from my mom. More bad news. And I cried again. I drove to my first class and arrived late. I sat down in my normal area. The professor had already turned the lights down so we could see the PowerPoint and I was thankful for that because I couldn’t stop thinking about it and started crying half way through class. Then I walked to my second class, checked social media again, and cried in class again. After that, I came home and I think a cried a little bit more.

The past few days I’ve thought exclusively about a family that is having to watch their son, their brother, their nephew, their grandson go through the worst situation I could have ever imagined. I’ve thought about a youth group that has to watch its friend fight for life. I’ve thought about my brother having to watch his best friend be touch and go. I’ve thought about the pens and needles everyone is standing on as they wait for the next news and hope and pray for better. It’s the stuff you see in movies. It’s the stuff you hear happen to people you don’t even know. It’s the stuff that you never think will happen to you or anyone close to you.

There’s a part of it all that doesn’t seem real, and there’s a part of me that hopes I will wake up tomorrow and it will all be over or better yet had never happened. There’s a part of me that hopes that the next time I go home that I’ll see Ben up in the front pew with the rest of the youth group. There’s a part of me that hopes Ben and Seth with be joking around and arguing about the best sports team or who’s played the best game on Saturday.

So, I hope and I pray. I start to think about school, but then I just can’t because I know there’s a 16-year-old boy who needs every second of prayer I have and God who wants every second of prayer and devotion I can muster. I write this post not for my glory, but with the hope that Ben’s suffering and his family’s suffering and his friends’ suffering…my brother’s…suffering will not be in vain. I write this with the hope that someone out there will read this and turn to God. I write this with the hope that someone will find their faith.

Some of you have probably never prayed in your life. Some of you have prayed and come to the conclusion that you don’t see the point. Some of you are probably wondering why I still pray and why I still have hope.

I pray because it works. I pray because I serve a God who listens. And I hope because God first had hope in me.

You may not believe in God. You may not pray to God. But I ask that for 5 minutes of your time that you believe in a God that is greater than me or you or all 8 billion people in the world and that you pray because a 16-year-old boy needs just that. He needs you to believe, he needs you to hope, and he needs you to pray.

What say you?

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