This weekend is the one year anniversary of passing of Mike Ward. I didn’t know Mike well at all, as a matter of fact we had only had a couple conversations. However, the legacy he left in his family and friends make me feel like I knew him.
Watching the grace that Bev, Logan and Abby have lived this past year has been inspirational to me. Logan the student has discipled his youth pastor by living for and proclaiming the Glory of God. Bev’s words at church after camp demonstrated the strength of a woman who is clinging to the cross – the Anchor of our Hope. Abby’s infectious spirit of joy…well it’s a joy to be around.
I love you guys. And in remembrance here is the repost of “Painfully Beautiful from 1 year ago.
Painfully Beautiful – Originally Posted, July 23, 2008
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.