Glimpses of Grace and Truth... Every time we turn on the television, listen to broadcast news, or read anything from newsprint to social media, we hear about the Las Vegas shooting. From reporter to journalist, from local police to federal agencies, no one standing in front of a microphone is able to give the motive for what the suspect did late Sunday night. All it took was one person. Granted, he had more weapons and ammunition than half the small town police departments in America. But still it was one person, doing what many have called, “mass evil.” For sure, there is much power in one person, power for evil but also power for good.
For the last night of Lakeshore’s middle-school camp, we had invited all the students to take part in our closing night’s talent show. Cabins shared their own skit, lip sync, athletic display or song they sang for everyone. When we called Cabin 4, which was scheduled to be the whole cabin, only three girls stood. When the third girl realized that the rest of her cabin had cold feet, she sat back down. When girls one and two got to the stage, and realized they’d been abandoned by their cabin mates, girl #2 went back to her seat. As she looked back and waved for her lone friend, she whispered, “It’s OK, come sit down too.” But there she stood, all by herself.
In a split second, as several grown ups and counselors start moving to go support her, she did something interesting. She didn’t go with the crowd, didn’t buckle under pressure. In fact, it looked like, in that same split second, she bowed her head. Then she raised it, looked up and began to sing the camp song her cabin had planned. She sang, “I stand to praise you, but I fall down on my knees.” By the time she finished the next line, “My spirit is willing, but my flesh is so weak,” her whole cabin was standing beside her. By the time, they got to the chorus, which says, “So, light the fire in my soul, fan the flames, make me whole,” another twenty five plus people had joined her finishing the verse, “Lord you know just where I’ve been, so light the fire in my heart again.” By the end of the next verse, the entire camp — 250 plus campers, counselors, staff and leaders — were standing to praise to God. And it all came down to the faith of one young girl.
There is great power for good, and all you need is just one. Last Sunday night, there was one person through whom evil flowed, but there were so many more “one person’s” through whom good flowed. Dale could have fled the gunfire, but stayed, borrowed belts and made tourniquets for victims. Mike loaded four victims into his pickup-truck-turned-ambulance and rushed them to a hospital. First responders, one by one, helped. By lunch the next day, one person brought sandwiches, another water. Another set up a donation page which, in 24 hours, had received over a million dollars. And hundreds, then thousands stood in line to give blood. All it took was just one. We as the Church are a collection of those who are willing to be the one who, even if we’re the only one, will stand up for good. Because we know and love The One who did the same for us.
Join us Sunday as we worship this One great God who loves you.
Sincerely glad to be one beside you: Ed, Lea and the First UMC Family