Just as Mother's Day 2008 if a joyful memory, so September 2010 is one of sorrow and tears.
September 7, our pastors son James was killed in the line of duty in Iraq. He had been in the army less than a year, he had a young wife at home, he was scheduled to come home in January 2011.
God in His Providence, chose to bring him home, and in his death, the message of the Gospel has been broadcast at least nationwide. As his wife, parents, siblings, extended family, and friends mourn his passing, we are also able to rejoice in the testimony that his death has spread.
Right now if you 'google' James McClamrock you will find newspaper articles from all over. I haven't yet read all of them , but every one I have read has been so full of God's grace as evidenced in the entire family's lives.
His funeral was this past Friday, 9/17. It was very emotional but at the same time I believe that it was very healing for those who grieve.
We (Gibson Family) did not have the privilege of knowing this young man. He left for the Army only a few months after we started attending the church and prior to that his job in security at the airport had kept him away. We have had the chance to get to know his wife a tiny bit, and I am so amazed and yes, even proud of how she is responding to the death of her husband with grief tempered by hope and peace and grace.
Shannah, Jamies wife, has the peace that surpasses ALL understanding. This is not a trite cliche. It is the evidence of Christs work in her life.
Philippians 4:4-7: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
This is the peace in the face of tremendous grief that Shannah, James parents and siblings, his friends and church family have. And as we seek His peace in this time of grief, as we cling to Him for healing, He gives us the peace that only he can give.
Here is a link to a tribute article in the local paper. It was front page and if printed on one page would take up the ENTIRE page. How often do we see that for a small town boy? But more about the reasons for the honor shown him in another post.