“I count all things to be loss
in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord
... and count them but rubbish in order that I may know Him,
and attain to the resurrection from the dead."
-- Philippians 3:8-11
Beckett belongs to our "In HOPE" e-community. He and his
family live in Knoxville, Tennessee.
month ago -- on August 5 -- Charles and Mary's 32-year-old
daughter Cheryl was one of 10 foreign aid workers ambushed and killed
by Taliban soldiers in northern Afghanistan.
group was providing medical, dental, and eye care to poor villagers in
the region. Cheryl was in her sixth year in Afghanistan, after
declining scholarship offers to Johns Hopkins University. She
chose to follow the call of God to devote herself to the poor in one of
the most remote and unreached regions of the world, marveling at how
God can take the ordinary and evil "and weave it into something
heard the heart-breaking news for the first time last week and dropped
Charles a short note. I was deeply touched by his gracious,
faith-filled response. He wrote:
visiting Cheryl in Afghanistan in the Fall of '08, I was convinced that
she was following her call to serve the Lord there. I also came away
with the feeling that blood would have to be shed to remove the
obstacles that hinder the proclamation of the good news. My prayer is
that in this case, as in so many others, the blood of the martyrs will
once again become the seed of the church. She touched multitudes,
including many Muslim families who are grieving deeply. Her housemates
have indicated that many have been deeply moved by Cheryl's caring life
and sacrificial death. We pray that they will join the throng of the
"like-minded," and that the unjust laws which bind the open spread
of the good news will fall, to His glory.
so many of you, I too am a parent. And the prospect of losing a child
to such violence strikes fear within me. I can't help but
wonder whether I have the depth of faith that Charles and
Mary have shown in this loss of their daughter. They are what I
hope to be as a follower of Jesus.
and faith are not mutually exclusive. Our grief simply reveals the
depth of our love for that which we've lost. But grief can sometimes
distort us or distract us. I'm unspeakably touched by the faith I've
seen and heard in the Beckett family.
grief is beyond anything I can describe. It comes in waves that seem
like they will crush us. Yet, God's astounding mercy lifts us above and
faith in Christ calls me to a higher vision and a deeper faith of my
own. It puts the trivialities of my day into fresh perspective. Perhaps
it can encourage you in the same way.