This past week something devastating happened. A young man, just 15, drowned after jumping off of the Gellatly wharf structure. A phone call from a friend to my son, to me: “Did you hear…?” And then a local news story confirming: I knew this boy.
I knew this boy in the past; he was one of the kids we picked up from school for our Out of School Care Program. He was what you would expect a 10 year old skateboarder to be! Where he went, the party went. He was that boy who could at the same time drive you crazy and make you laugh, with too much energy to be contained. He had these dark curls in his hair, cap on all the time, such a grin; such charm. He was the kind you kept forgiving because in his mischief were layers of all kinds of good.
Others must have been captured by him too because at the vigil there were hundreds of people, hundreds of mourners making the air thick with grief. Some, overcome with grief.
I had earlier been to the WK1 gathering, the gathering of the churches at the Annette Boudreau Amphitheater. The theme was “the power of the Holy Spirit.” We gathered — followers of Jesus — we gathered and prayed and sang and listened and asked of GOD: fill us with Your Spirit. We prayed over our city…
Then a few minutes later Mike and I stood on this wharf with evening settling in and the water below us dark and sad. We prayed silently. The lyrics of a song we had just sung, in mind:
You are welcome here…”
Here too. Please be here.
”Come flood this place
And fill this atmosphere…”
If ever there was a place of need for GOD to walk among us, it was here.
GOD is so near to the brokenhearted. Often, I think, His nearness is through us. His Spirit present through us.
Doesn’t He send His Spirit to work in times like these? Doesn’t He give us, as followers, the ability to be useful to the grieving? We are comforted so we can comfort, the Bible says.
Our own words fall flat, we need the Spirit to speak, to bring real comfort and hope. We need the deep Truth of the Spirit forming words that matter.
So followers, let’s ask to be more surrendered to GOD’s Spirit. Yes, let’s ask. Let’s ask Him to empty us so He can fill our hearts, our mouths, our decisions, our obedience so that when it matters the most, we are the most ready.