There's hardly a Sunday where you won't find us, the Sperow's Nest, in church. So two Sunday's ago we went about our regular routine - attend service, then go to our Sunday school class to catch up with friends and continue more fruitful lessons in faith.
Before our pastor began his lesson, he opened the floor to anyone who wanted to make an announcement. One woman in the class raised her hand, walked to the front of the room and began addressing the class with tears in her eyes.
She wanted us to pray for a dear friend of hers who was in a terrible accident the day before. While on the way back to Charlotte from Wilmington her friend, who was 8-months pregnant, the friend's husband and their toddler were hit by a box truck.
If the story ended there that news was bad enough to make your heart sink - but it got worse. Their two-year-old died and the mother had to have an emergency C-section. Their newborn boy would pass away two days later.
I immediately put myself in this family's shoes. I am a mom, wife… with a young children too! I can't begin to know how devastating it would feel to learn my children's lives were taken away so suddenly.
The story made the news of course. Maybe you saw it reported on WBTV. It's what happened one week after that accident that really struck a chord with me…
The father in the family, who was injured in the wreck, addressed his home church - Forest Hill in SouthPark – one week after the deadly accident. It was reported Gentry Eddings was a reflection of courage and grace under the circumstances and said to the audience that he and wife, Hadley, forgive the driver who caused the accident.
Wow. Just, WOW!
To make that declaration is a reflection of true faith. Some might believe the Eddings are justified to be angry at the person who did this but they are choosing to forgive him. I hope it's a lesson we can all learn from.
It's not up to us to figure out why this happened but instead take comfort in knowing their two boys are playing together on the ultimate playground in heaven. The faithful steps of dad Gentry and mom Hadley will have them one day reuniting with their sons again.
If you're the praying kind, I'm sure this family would welcome all your prayers…