Many of you readers out there have seen the news story of Mike Ward. Mike and his family were on vacation in Florida where a strong rip-tide current began sweeping his daughter several yards into the ocean. Mike went in to save her, and another girl. The girls were saved, but Mike was overwhelmed and did not make it.
Mike, his wife and two teenage children are members of South Harriman Baptist Church, which I now serve in as an Assistant Pastor.
I spent a couple of hours with the Beverly, Logan, and Abby yesterday. It is a dreadfully painful time. The heartache and the shock is still very real. There was weeping from dozens of family and friends there to support them. The grief of a lost husband and father ran deep, very deep.
Yet, as I stood there praying silently, what I saw was beautiful. A band of brothers and sisters in Christ providing unending support, care, and love for this family. Men who drove through the night to escort the body of their deceased friend back home. A 14 year-old teenage man who told me, “God will give me the strength, I know it.” A broken family trusting in a loving God. A mountain of food and provisions for the week. People I’ve only known for a couple of weeks – people I’ll now remember for a lifetime.
What I witnessed last night was the arms of Jesus, in the form of the church, wrapping this family tight with with His love. Love for a family, whose husband and father, had lived just as the Savior:
Giving his Life for another.