I was 15 minutes early to the school so I decided to plop myself down and read the paper. I unfolded it and right at the top of the front page it read:
Local Man Dies at Angels Roadhouse.At first it didnt really catch my attention to much. Angels roadhouse is a local bar/dance place that is known for having it's share of bar room brawels. As I read further into the article I noticed the name and age of the victim as being my friends son. My heart dropped for many reasons besides the obvious. My friend also lost her husband 4 months ago to illness. I couldn't believe me eyes so I went to the parking lot and called Sondra only to find out it was indeed her son in the paper. It's very moments like that on the phone with my friend that make me so angry. I am helpless, grieving for her and her loss and no words or kind thing I could do for her will make the hurt go away. I can't fix it. Nobody should have to carry that much grief at once.
I start to ask God what makes him think her heart can stand the pain of losing her husband and son all at once. I am asking God this fully expecting a response, an explanation of some kind that I can call my friend back with. But there's nothing, just silence.
I have to start by telling you that Sondra isn't the friend I go shopping with, or on vacations with. She's not the friend you go get manicures with or swap clothes with. Sondra is old enough to be my Grandma. She was my mentore. We met through Arrowhead Springs Christian conference center and she and her husband Greg took me under their wing. I was 18 at the time and not making the best decisions as far as my future was concerned. Sondra met with me every week for almost five years. She brought me into her home reading through the bible with me, praying over me, crying with me, cheering me on, and teaching me what I was worth to God was her mission. Sondra would have me in for tea in her fancy little china cups like I was a special guest and she would tell me what to look for in a spouse. (she and Greg were married 48 yrs) She would share the hardships of she and Greg's life and how they got through things with God in the center. Greg would come home and greet me with these hugs that could fix anything. He would tell me how proud of me he was and that he loved me. What's remarkable about that is I wasn't doing to many things to be proud of. But no matter he always made sure I knew they loved me.
Sondra & I prayed for years on end for Grant (her son who was killed) that he would return to his roots and serve the Lord again. A couple of years ago when we were having lunch she explained to me that Grant was indeed back and serving the Lord with full force. And that is how he died. He went to the bar to rescue a friend in distress and ended up sharing Jesus with some of the guys for over an hour. Afterwards they stomped on his head and neck and killed him. He died doing what he felt he was privelaged to do. Sharing Jesus Christ.
I explained to my friend that in no way could I understand her pain or even wrap my brain around the turn of events over the last four months. But that her life and the life of her family had made me a better person. Her obedience to God in loving me should make her proud as it was life and heart altering. God still hasn't answered all my questions but I know he loves Sondra more than I ever could and he will wrap her up in his arms of mercy and like I told her on the phone today; words are not enough to express my love and gratitude, but one day in heaven she will get her full reward for her faithfulness and she will be with & get to share it with Greg and Grant.