Saturday, August 2, 2008

God's grace

Recently new life church (of Ted Haggard infamy) had a terribly tragic shooting. But it is in traumatic moments that God works his power int eh most amazing ways. Read the following excerpt from a LeadershipJournal article, it is a powerful testimony of what the grace of God is able to do with our brokenness.


FYI:  The Murrays son had shot and killed four people at the church, two of whom are the daughters of the Works family.


A few days after this interview, Pastor Boyd quietly contacted the family of Matthew Murray, "Would you like to come to the New Life campus … to see the place where your son passed away?" Overwhelmed with gratitude, Ron and Loretta Murray admitted they had longed for this very thing, but they'd felt they would be invading what they knew had been a tragic and difficult situation for the church. So they had stayed away.

Now they agreed to come. Boyd then asked them if they'd be willing to meet with the Works family. They said they would. He asked the Works, in turn, if they'd be willing to meet with the Murrays. Surprisingly, they also agreed.

Before the meeting, Boyd spent some time alone with the Murray family, retracing the steps of Matthew Murray on the church grounds, up until the place in the hallway where their son passed away. Many tears and hugs were shared as they grieved and prayed together over the tragedy.

Later, in Pastor Boyd's office, David and Marie Works joined the Murrays. "What happened there in the two hours in my office … was the most significant ministry moment I've experienced, maybe in all of my life," Boyd said. When they first entered the office, the two families embraced. They sat, wept, and cried together, Boyd said, for "I don't know how long."

Then they prayed together. Later Jeanne Assam was invited to join them. When Jeanne, who had undoubtedly saved many lives but had been forced to shoot the Murray's son, walked into the room, "the Murrays embraced her and hugged her and released her from any guilt and remorse. The dad looked at Jeanne and said, 'Please know we're so sorry that you had to do what you did. We're so sorry.'"

We are reminded in the Bible not to repay evil with evil—not to be overcome by evil but to overcome it instead with good. The families involved in these tragic events are showing how to live out their faith by clinging to what is good in the face of unimaginable pain.

"We can talk philosophically about repentance and redemption and going forward with God," Boyd said, "but what I saw in that room in my office was the greatest testimony of forgiveness and redemption that I have ever seen. It was a testimony that God really can restore and redeem."


No comments: