In His Arms

Last night Al and I were watching Anderson Cooper on CNN’s 360 interview with Tia Coleman, the wife and mother of the family who drowned in the Duck Boat accident near Branson, Missouri. Her tears and agony filled the screen. She described that when the boat was pulled from the bottom of the lake, her husband Glenn was found embracing their three children.

Listening to her tearfully talk of her love for her husband, Cooper, with tears, could hardly respond. She had nine family members die in the accident. Compassionately he concluded the interview by telling Tia that all of America will be thinking of and praying for her.

In times of tragedy, prayer is our lifeline to God and to healing, isn’t it? Remember 9/11? The entire nation came together to pray. In tragedy, we cling to God. In easy times, not so much.

We need to pray for this family and all who were involved. Yes, the Colemans are grieving now and rightfully so because death is ugly, not at all what God intended when He created mankind. And God Almighty is grieving along with them. Through Jesus Christ, He has provided a glorious Plan B, one that rests on the fact Jesus Christ, as both God and man, overcame death, was resurrected, and lives forever in Heaven, now inviting us to follow him.

Even in her grief, Tia Coleman testifies hope. The pastor of the church she grew up in marveled at her strength during Saturday’s press conference: “She came forth as a witness. Every third or fourth word out of her mouth was giving glory to God, and that is where the rubber meets the road. In situations like that, you’ve got to have it down in your heart.” (Bishop Thomas E. Griffith as quoted by Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, 7.23.18, p.6A)

The father of the Coleman family huddled his children—Reece (9), Evan (7), and Arya (1)—near his heart as they left this world to enter eternal life. Missed by those who loved them deeply, they live on in the arms of Jesus and will be reunited, together again someday.

 

Alms for Alexa?

“Dear Lord, thank you for this glorious morning, for the rain and sunshine, for all the love You give us. . .”

“Do you want me to play the lullaby, All The Love?

Heads bowed, praying while sitting on her couch, my younger friend and I looked up. I began laughing. She giggled. This was a first for our weekly Thursday morning prayer time.

Their family’s digital assistant that Amazon has affectionately named Alexa had joined the prayer dialogue. Her interrupting me with a question seemed totally odd. But that’s her job—to listen and then respond. Kinda like a live-in disk jockey?!

My friend told her, “No.” Still laughing I was too freaked out to continue praying.

“Doesn’t that creep you out?” I asked, now internally affirming I would never want a plugged-in digital assistant eavesdropping in my house.

“Well, she’s a part of our security system so we are used to her. Plus, she plays music on command.”

I’m shaking my head, knowing technology has already passed me by.

“Alexa, you’re so silly!” I mumbled.

“I’ll take that as a compliment,” returned her automated reply.

Shaking my head again, I laughed. She had gotten the last word.

If Alexa is that attentive, then I know God is listening. I will choose my words more carefully.

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24, NIV