So I'm already terribly weepy and then this tragedy strikes at Crossroads. I can't seem to adequately explain how I feel about this church. We don't even go there but it still feels like family. Our church has similar philosophies which may be part of it but I think it has more to do with my sister. Emily goes to Crossroads. It feels weird to say she "goes there". She's there like three times a week. She's been transforming herself this last year, thanks in large part to what she's found there. So I guess it's like extended family, the kind you actually like. I saw it on the news the night it happened and I was just stunned. It stuck with me the next morning as I wondered what all those people must be feeling. Nearly 5,000 people watched this young girl fall to her death. Of course they would cancel the show (we had tickets for Saturday). But Keri's parents didn't want them to cancel. They said Keri would want them to go ahead with the show. But there was just no way those performers could do it. Instead they did a more traditional (as traditional as Crossroads can do) Christmas Eve service. It was pretty amazing. There was no cheesy "In Loving Memory" thing. But when they got to the "magi" part of the story (Keri played a wise man) there were only two of them. I had spent the first part of the service looking up, wondering where she was when she fell, where she landed, what the audience did when it happened. After the song ended there was a standing ovation during which Brian (the minister) kept his back to the crowd. When the applause died out, he turned around and continued with the story. It was understated and beautiful. I'm still amazed the artists could get through it without crying, I sure didn't. Another thing that has stuck with me was something Keri's mom said to Brian. She said, "I don't want you to think that Keri died in your church. I don't want you to walk into your sanctuary and think that she died here. She ascended into Heaven here in your church." Still gives me chills to retell it.
So lately there's been stab wounds (four! in my belly!) and pain but there's healing as well. That's always the way. Without the pain, you might miss out on the sweet grace of healing.