Last week our pastor brought a great message from Mark chapter 2. It chronicles the story of a group of fellows who made sure their paralytic friend got in to see Jesus by letting him down through the roof. In the passage the group is referred to several times only as "they." "They" made sure their friend got to Jesus. "They" didn't care about what it cost them. They didn't care about their finances, their reputations, or the fallout. They cared about their friend. This past week a good friend and member of a very dear family passed away in a tragic accident. His name is Chris. His youth and station in life, newly married and newly expecting their first baby, makes us wonder many things. Why? Why him, why now, why this family, our community? Short answer: I don't know, but I trust the One who does.
As I write this short blog, there are 5 or 6 young men in my shop, 4 of whom have been here all day, and who will work through the night. Their task? They are building a casket for my friend, one of the young men's brothers. My son is out there, too. They are tired and hungry, but they haven't stopped yet to eat. You see, Chris was a craftsman. He made things. Lots of things. Cool things like homemade knives, bows from PVC pipe, and he even built his own forge for working steel. This final memento is a testament to his craft and skill. I can't imagine the weight these boys, I mean men, are carrying tonight. But I do know what to call them ... "They" are Chris's "they."
They are, in these final moments, doing what "they"s do. They are honoring their brother in the most beautiful display of friendship and family I've seen in a very long time. Chris never asked them to do anything like this to my knowledge. I'm sure there was never a conversation that ended with, "hey, will you be my 'they'?" No, he was just himself. He loved and served and his "they" developed around him. Who's "they" are you? If you need some "they"s of your own, be one to someone else. God is good, even when we don't understand.
Thank you, Pastor, for reminding us to love and serve one another.