What You Don’t Expect

There are lots of things that you think about as you prepare for a professional conference.  What to wear that will be as comfortable as possible without appearing bizarrely casual, what books to take for the slow times/speakers, what snacks to pack for the kids in the car.  Even for a simple drive across the desert, there are lots of contingencies to plan for.

But generally, you don’t plan to die on the way.
I was stunned this morning to learn that the gentleman I’ve been working with to get a group going to help congregations in the southwestern US with reaching out to men and women in local jails and prisons died en route to this conference.  We were going to be co-manning a table with information about jail and prison ministry.  We had been consulting and making decisions about logos and business cards and name tags and brochures.  He had secured some prison clothes and was going to wear them some of the time at the conference to help generate questions.  
Instead, he passed away this morning at the hotel they stopped in overnight at Yuma.  
On the plus side, Christian community has mobilized around his widow to provide her with support until friends and family from San Diego can reach her.  I have no doubt where Mike is right now – he’s enjoying the presence of his Savior in a way he has looked forward to for a long time – maybe his whole life.  He doesn’t have any worries any longer.  There aren’t any more plans that he needs to make.
But for those he has left behind, there are still plans to be made, contingencies to be thought through, and journeys back and forth through the desert to make.  Until we all reach our Savior’s side, may the Lord bless and keep each of you on your respective journeys.

2 Responses to “What You Don’t Expect”

  1. Lothars Sohn Says:

    Hello, I am sorry for your friend.

    It is good if your faith is great enough to carry you through this difficult time.

    Lovely greetings.

  2. Paul Nelson Says:

    Thank you for the kind thoughts.  It is precisely times like this and, I pray, at the time of my own death that my faith will be my greatest comfort and assurance (1 Corinthians 15:19).  

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