I’m working on a sermon right now on Jacob wrestling with God (yah, I’m going to go ahead and say it was God). It’s all about the high and mighty, transcendent God, coming down to earth, getting involved in an intimate encounter with one of God’s creations, Jacob – God’s active participation in God’s creation. Beautiful stuff.
And then I get an email. From a friend in Idaho. Her best friend (and a girl I was friends with, who worked as a counselor at Camp Sawtooth when I would speak there) died on Saturday. She was doing ministry at the University of Montana with Campus Crusade. I had given her a support check a year or so ago. She was with the University group on a trip to Croatia and it was one of those freak, tragic things. She had thought she had a cold for a few months, was diagnosed with tonsillitis before going on the trip, but once in Croatia, her symptoms became really bad and she had to go to a hospital, there in Croatia. I’m not aware of the cause of her death, but I talked to a student from Idaho tonight and she said that within about 15 hours of the diagnosis, Katie passed away.
I don’t understand stories like this. I don’t understand why a God who is so incredibly active and present here in the world, doesn’t just stop horrific things like this from happening.
I don’t have words when friends and previous campers call to make sure that I heard the news. All I can do with them is ask “Why?” and let them know that it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay not to understand.
Please join me in prayer for Katie’s parents, Blake & Debbie, and her brother, Thomas. This family was also connected with the churches in Wendell, ID, and were a very active family in that community, so the community of Wendell will need prayer. We also need to be lifting up the Campus Crusade Ministry at University of Montana, as that will be a very broken and hurting ministry as they mourn the loss of Katie’s vibrant spirit and presence.
Prayer is the only response that I see is possible…