Every Pastor’s Nightmare

Church Bus Crash Kills 1 in Mississippi, 23 Hurt – Local News | News Articles | National News | US News – FOXNews.com

I can’t imagine receiving this phone call.  Apparently, this news broke just as FBC Shreveport was gathering for their morning worship service.  I tried to imagine how this scenario played out.

Telephone rings.  “Pastor, there’s been an accident.  The bus tire blew and rolled the bus.  It’s bad.  It’s real bad”

Imagine having to leave the phone call and enter into an auditorium of parents who just sent their students off to camp.  Imagine having to go and find the mommy of the young man who died, just as she was coming out of Sunday School.  Imagine having to call those parents who never come to church, but who send their teenager every time the doors are open.  It’s bad.  It’s real bad.

This is one of those moments where faith is rocked.  It is a moment where the questions come at a rate far faster than the questions.  This seems like one of those Job-like moments.  A moment when doubters come out of the woodwork, “Curse God and die” they shout.  “How could a loving God allow such a tragedy?” they question.  “You’d better call the church attorney!” they caution.

I wish I had answers as to why church buses are not miraculously protected with an angel monitoring each tire’s integrity and a built in GPS – “Godly Positioning System” – to keep the bus where it needs to be.  I wish I knew why the doors to the church are not guarded with the same angels that keep watch over the Garden of Eden.  But the truth is that ministry demands that we be prepared for the worst.  One day, the bus will wreck.  One day, the gunman will enter.  One day, the pedophile will strike.  What will you do?

Some will undoubtedly panic in fear.  Fear of lawsuits.  “Did we check the tire pressure?”  Some will get angry at God for allowing such a tragedy.  Some will be haunted with doubts.  Some will turn to Jesus.

I must commend FBC Shreveport.  Upon hearing the news, they still had their worship service.  But that worship service must have had a decidedly different tone.   When the worst happens, that’s really all we can do is worship.  The amazing thing is that we worship a God who felt the pain of death both as an active participant and as a grieving Father.

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