A hearty howdy to everyone, and my apologies for not posting this week! It had been my intention to write about how wonderfully the Kansas City weekend went — and, indeed, my thanks to everyone involved, as it was marvelous! My family and I all had a wonderful time, and it was great both seeing old friends and making new ones. All those who put their efforts into the event deserve many kudos for a job well done. As one person said to me this past weekend, “It seems that the Kansas City weekend gets better every year!”
However, since returning there have not only been a number of tasks that had piled up a bit over the last week, but also two of our local members were faced with tragedy last weekend when their daughter, who served as a deputy for the county sheriff’s department, was shot and killed Saturday morning while collecting evidence from a crime scene. (Forgive me for not writing more. Even though the event made the national news, I am always loathe to mention individuals’ names. We have announced the details through appropriate channels in our local church areas.) Much of this week has been taken up by trips to and from their area and assisting in what little ways I can. They are doing amazingly well considering their circumstances, and I admire them for how they have handled themselves and for the strength and faith they have displayed. Their network of family and friends has been fantastic, and seeing them come together in love and support has been inspiring.
Today was the public visitation, which drew — quite literally — thousands of people, even in the face of very unpleasant weather. My family and I got in line quickly at 2:00PM and it still took a little more than two hours to get through. When I left the building at 9:00PM-ish, the line was still enormous but finally shrinking to about a 1-to-1½ hour wait, having been continuous all that time. More uniformed officers attended to visit the family and show their respects than I could have previously imagined, including from distant places such as Chicago. Even Governor Strickland came this evening to see and comfort the family, which was nice to see. The outpouring of concern and support has been a real encouragement for the family.
The service is tomorrow, and 2,000 or more may be in attendance. I will have a small part in the graveside service, much of which will be taken up by displays of respect and honor from various police departments and the county sheriff’s office. The experience has taught me much, and I will try to write about some of those things in the future. And my thanks to those of you in our local church areas who came out to see the family today. I saw you here and there in the line, and I so appreciated it, as did the family. When I talked to our two Church members later on in the day, they mentioned each of you whom they had seen and how much it meant to them that you had come.
I will try to post again soon, but I suspect it will not be until early next week. Until then, take care and thank God for the time you have with your family and loved ones. God’s wonderful Word instructs us in Romans 13:8 to “[o]we no one anything except to love one another,” and there is no reason that we must wait to pay that debt — while there are many reasons to act on it swiftly.