Friday, April 24, 2009

Sensational God

So at the vine we are talking about how we experience God through our senses and this morning I had an encounter. A young man in my office, Michael Sensabaugh, who was in his mid 20's passed away on Saturday morning. Needless to say, work has been strange this week as people try to reconcile their hurt, grief, shock, and anger over Michael's death.

Michael was an amazing man. I don't think I ever saw him without a smile on his face and he was always genuinely concerned about me and my family. I will truly miss the conversations we had!

Trying to deal with the grief and revelation of your own mortality is difficult, but throw in tough questions from others and it gets hard to deal with. SO I was riding the bus this morning and contemplating how to present the truth of God's love in a way that accurately represents His character and nature while still addresses people's lack of understanding and grief. While I was sitting there praying Matthew 28:20 came to my mind , "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." I admit, at first I was confused about what God was telling me, so I asked for some clarity and again God spoke to me in a song.

Tenth Avenue North was playing on my ipod, "Times" was the song. The chorus says:

i hear you say "my love is over,
its underneath, its inside, its in between
the times you doubt me, when you can't feel
the times that you've questioned 'is this for real?'
the times you've broken, the times that you mend
the times you hate me and the times that you bend
well my love is over, its underneathits inside, its in between,
these times you're healing
and when your heart breaks
the times that you feel like you've fallen from grace
the times you're hurting
the times that you heal
the times you go hungry and *are tempted* to steal
in times of confusion and chaos and pain
i'm there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame
i'm there through your heartache
i'm there in the storm
my love i will keep you by my power alone
i dont care where you've fallen, where you have been
i'll never forsake you my love never ends, it never ends

And it was clear to me...a truth I have always known. God is always with us, even when we question Him. He is big enough to handle our doubts, questions, anger, and even our moments of hate. It is specifically these times that our Faith is proven. We won't always understand why things happen but our challenge is to trust God with everything .

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Dear Patrick,
I am somewhat shocked to come across your page when i randomly googled Michaels name. Micheal and I were extremely close friends and I still miss him so very much. There are no words to describe the joy that he brought to so many lives. Indeed he was a man with a special purpose, his heart was genuine and true. You couldnt ask for a more genuine and faithful friend than Michael. In dealing with the immense grief, i realized that there are some things that i can not work through by myself, I truly leaned to God for strength and understanding. If there is one thing i could ask of people, it would be to open their hearts to let others in. There are so many people who are hurting inside although seemingly happy on the outside as they carry on their daily activities and all they need is to know how important they are to others and how much they mean in our lives. Sometimes i think Micheal didn't know how loved he was and he often shared that feeling with me. Unfortunately my words of reassurance alone were not enough.

"Tell people how much they mean to you while they yet live" Maybe if everyone who Micheal had touched would have shared that with him in life, they could have made a difference.