This morning, having made my coffee I opened my laptop to see what was going on in the world, particularly in our own nation as the vote counting from yesterday’s election continues. It is, of course, a topic of great interest as the outcome can affect the lives of millions of Americans. After checking out several websites about the election I turned to my favorite blog, one I read every morning and was greeted with a shock. Tim Challies wrote that his son collapsed and died yesterday at college. He was with his sister and fiancé and some other college friends playing a game when he unexplainably collapsed and died. Tim and his wife Aileen drove through the night from their home in Canada to Louisville where there son Nick and one of their daughters were attending college. He briefly shared their grief and their hope in Christ this morning and asked for prayer.
Tim is not a friend or even an acquaintance. I have set in a couple of workshops he led in years past at a pastor’s conference, and have regularly read his blog for several years but he wouldn’t have a clue who I am. That being true, I was still moved to tears as I contemplated what this brother and sister in Christ are going through. When we put a name and face to a tragedy it changes everything. National and global events can and should capture our attention and our prayers, but the loss of one human life can seem even greater. After all, the big events are really just a combination of individual stories.
There is a lesson to be learned in that – each and every human life has great worth. We were individually shaped by our Lord into His own image and that gives us each eternal value. I am so glad that Christ doesn’t view simply as the mass of humanity that we are, but that he knows us by name. It is as individuals that he calls us to himself and saves us and the death of each of his children is precious to him. Just like the story Jesus told of the shepherd leaving the flock of ninety-nine to pursue the one lost sheep, the Holy Spirit seeks us out.
You may have never heard of Tim, but I ask that you pray for him and his family. But I also ask you to reflect upon the need we each have to acknowledge and revel in the reality that we have a Lord who loves us personally. Respond to his love today and then share that love with the people around you.