Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Tulsa State Fair begins today. I will be working periodically as a chaplain for this. It will be a new and interesting experience for me. The post is adjacent to the State Police post, so I expect interesting things will occur. I have heard many stories from this position, and do not know exactly what to expect.

I remember when I was young, probably in Cub Scouts. I was at the fair with a number of other boys. When you are young and impetuous, it is easy to get your eyes widened, and fixed on things you are not used to seeing. When that occurs, it is easy to get separated from the group.

It never happens intentionally, it just happens. One minute your walking through exhibits and your attention gets drawn to the little lamb suckling from its mother, and the next thing you know, you are by yourself.

You look around, and no one you recognize is anywhere near you. You move swiftly to the next aisle and throw your gaze down the corridor, bouncing your eyes from person to person trying to find a familiar face. It is a pretty helpless feeling when you are young, and aren't prepared for what to do next.

Not that this has ever happened to me...say five or six times...I would never let my guard down and allow it to happen.

Most of us can relate to having lost a child at the grocery or Wal-Mart or somewhere. Momentary panic sets in, and you break into a sprint, and start working every new aisle with the fervent hope you will find them there! Instantly, you feel like a horrible parent, combined with the desperation of hoping they just wandered off, and didn't actually get "taken."

When you're young, the feeling is a little different. The panic infiltrates a different level...that is, if you realize you are lost.

Back at the fair, it was time to leave. I had somehow (It couldn't have been MY fault) gotten separated from my group, I went to the area I knew the car had been parked.

It was gone!

How on earth could somebody else's mom have so carelessly left me at the fair by myself at such a young impressionable age? Terror seized me!

I spun around, eyes racing for a sign of familiarity. My pirouette would have made any ballerina proud. It was intentional and balanced. The thoughts in my head were not.

Finally, I spied the familiar station wagon driving off. I broke into a sprint that would have set records had I been timed. Didn't matter. No chance I was going to catch that car. That moment of out-of-control fear when I was racing at an appropriate angle to cut off the accelerating car and knew I wasn't fast enough was suddenly replaced by utter thanksgiving!

Someone else saw my plight, recognized my intended destination, and jumped in front of that car.

They stopped.

I was mercifully rejoined with my group.

Over the next two weeks at the State Fair, it will be my turn to be the one jumping in front of the run-a-way vehicle. For the destination of many, however unintended, is separation. Perhaps one or two will be mercifully rejoined...through the blood of the Lamb!

Though I know where he is, and that his gaze is transfixed on that same Lamb...the closest thing I have found to describe his loss is the feeling I had that day at the fair...

I am so thankful that the Lamb saw fit to be slain on his behalf...and mine.



At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the name of Jesus Christ,
We stand in agreement through prayer, that all of the people ministered to by BEEJ's story, will open their hearts and accept you as Lord and Savior, in their lives. May the death of BEEJ be for your glory, and we know through faith that he is happy and with you now, dear Lord. Bless all that hear this wonderful story of a beautiful Martyr, in your precious name, amen and amen.

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you read "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn? Our home group leader died about six months ago and we decided to read and study the book together (it has a study guide available). What a wonderful introduction to the glorious land in which BJ and our friend now live. Thoroughly biblical and well-researched, it is such a comfort and encouragement to all of us, as well as an eye-opening experience we will never forget. We have so much to look forward to, it's exciting! If you haven't seen it yet, you will be thrilled when you do.

God bless,


At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you as you throw yourself in the paths of runaway cars! \o/

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have been on my mind and in my prayers...Just in awe of how our gracious God continues to use BJ as a witness to so many and of how you have allowed this suffering to be joined to the most holy cross. All of you have blessed me in so many ways.


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