God Is Enough…
“He has a heart-beat, and we are helping him breath.”
Those words are seared in my memory…
Two years ago today is a day that has been seared into my memory, a day that I will not forget. It was August 8, 2016, and I was working for a child welfare organization in Southwest Florida. One of my host family parents, Summer Gordon, had some paperwork she needed to get to my boss, and I was going to be heading up that direction with my family, so I asked when would be best to swing by their house to pick up the paperwork. She said any time after 3pm.
So, with that, my family and I piled on into our minivan and began the drive. Despite being an hour away, we were headed that way because my pregnant wife was craving a particular flavor of shaved ice, and where we were headed was the closest place. When we were mere feet down the road from Summer’s home, we had to stop as there were several vehicles stopped in the road in front of us, with the first one almost directly in front of her home. There was a pickup also off the road, opposite the home, against the tree line. I wondered out loud about what was going on, to which my wife responded, “Oh my god, there’s a child on the road!” I immediately pulled off the side of the road, got out, and headed forward. I got to the child on the road mere moments after Summer came out, screaming “Oh not my Sawyer, not my Sawyer!” Only to find her precious five year old son laying in the middle of the road in a heap of tattered clothing and blood, looking lifeless after having been struck by a vehicle.
There was a stranger there, covering Sawyer, making sure he didn’t move and that no one moved him. It was as if his parental instincts kicked in, despite this not being his child. Summer took this stranger’s place, covering, protecting her child, but not moving him or touching him. It was not this, however, that pierces my mind when I remember this. It was the guttural screams out to Jesus that came from Summer. From the very depths of her being she cried out to Jesus in such a way that I had never heard before and have never heard ever since.
The next few hours were a blur of activity. Police officers, Paramedics, EMTs, Pastors, the Medivac Flight Crew, any many more. Many worked Sawyer. Many sought to serve the Gordon family. Summer’s husband, Sawyer’s father Reppard got to the scene shortly after we did, joining his wife in tears and in prayer. Prayers were cried out. Children were corralled into the home. Phone calls, texts, emails were made with the goal of filling the heavens with entreaties for this young child.
My family and I lingered for a while, to make sure the rest of Summer’s were being taken care of by family and friend, as we were a ways from our home at the time. They were cared for, they were loved.
We continued on with our day, had our family time, albeit slightly subdued, and then we went home.
Then something happened that I least expected. My friends, my family, my pastor, my boss…they all reached out to me to make sure that I was okay. They began to minister to me, to help me work through this tragic event that, as it has for many, changed my life as well. I praise God regularly for His providence and perfect timing, allowing me and my family to be there at such a perfect time for Summer, Reppard, and their family. I praise Him for the opportunity to comfort and pray with a grieving mother. For my wife to be able to help with her other kids to keep them from having to see the unimaginable. I praise God knowing that He is sovereign, despite our inability to see beyond our own pain and suffering.
August 8, 2016 is a day that I will never forget. However, the story did not end there.
For this family, God Is Enough.
Almost immediately, the Gordons began to bring glory to God through such a painful event. As a couple, Reppard and Summer ministered to and began to immediately love upon the young man who drove the vehicle who hit their son. They attended the same church. He unsuccessfully tried to avoid their son, and was devastated. But they loved on him.
God Is Enough.
A few days later, on August 12th, at Sawyer’s Celebration of Life, the Gospel was shared and people came to profess faith in Christ.
God Is Enough.
In the days, weeks, and months following the death of their son, the Gordon family has reached out and ministered to many within the community, including the first responders. They have done radio and television interviews, and through it all, they recognize God’s sovereign hand and have continued to give Him the glory that only He so rightly deserves.
God IS Enough.
NOTE: This post was originally posted by me on The Reformed Outlook’s blog one year ago, August 8, 2017, marking one year since that fateful day. I edited the beginning to show that it’s been two years.