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.



  1. Judy Eckart

    So tragic! Prayers for Tia Coleman! God can comfort her through everyone’s Prayers and walk her through this sad time of grief. Thankful for her faith!

    • joycelong

      Hi Judy,
      She’s been quite the testimony for God’s saving power and loving comfort! We must remember to continue to pray for her. – Joyce

  2. Debra Scales

    Joyce, few news stories touch me as deeply as this one has. I grew up in Arkansas, just a short distance from Silver Dollar City. Nieces and nephews visited and rode those duck boats within a year of the terrible accident.

    I have such respect for Tia Coleman. Reading your blog post today (April 1) reminds me to pray for her and the other families who lost loved ones. You are right. Death was not God’s idea, and He grieves our losses with us.

    • joycelong

      Thank you for responding, Debbie! As you know, sometimes it feels like nobody’s reading.

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