Monday, May 17, 2010
Not in Vain
Today, a tragedy hit out church community along with many churches and people literally worldwide. Please read the story here.
Carissa, it is said, is from the Ukraine. Interestingly, Carissa was born in Rochester, NY and raised here for the first several years of her childhood. Her parents then moved to Ukraine to try to win many of those dear souls for Christ. It is appropriate that, in Carissa's death, she was reported to be from Ukraine, as that is where she considered her home to be. It was where her family was. It was where many of her friends were. It was where her burden was. It was where her heart resided.
Carissa's mother, Robin, is one of the most godly women I know. She comes from a dysfunctional family (don't we all?), but is living proof that we don't have to dwell in the past, become bitter, and blame the past for our current failures. She was saved as a teenager and followed the Lord from that time on. He truly lifted her out of the miry clay and set her upon a rock.
Robin flew into the US last November to say a final good-bye to her mother. How I understand it, the funeral was the first time in many years Robin's brothers and sisters had come together. The plan of salvation was clearly given, though I'm not sure of any decisions that were made that day.
Though the loss of a parent is an extremely sad time, it is often expected. The grace Robin had could have been interpreted by her lost family members as accepting a part of life. However, Carissa was just 20. She had just finished her second year of college, full of life, and loved her family. Her seemingly untimely death is a shock. The grace Robin and her husband along with Carissa's siblings at this time will be undeniable.
Now is the time when Christ is truly going to shine through the Ireland family. Their many unsaved relatives, neighbors, etc., are going to see their grief, but they're going to see hope in that grief. They're going to see supernatural strength. They're going to see the absence of bitterness. They're going to see God. They are going to come face to face with a very real decision - accept the God of Mike, Robin, Carissa, and the other children...or reject that blessed hope. Think of the many Ukrainians the Irelands have a relationship with. Think of how many may be saved or grow in their new walk because of this!
I do not intend to diminish the grief the family is feeling. People can have great faith and still weep uncontrollably. Yet, their faith will still be seen through their tears.
Now is the time to pray. We need to pray harder now than we did when the Coast Guard was searching for Carissa & Irena. Now, there are many souls searching for answers. We know where Carissa is. Let's pray that many will find Christ and meet with her one day in eternity as a result of her tragic death.
It's what Carissa would have wanted.