Today’s post is about two examples of faith I heard about today: one very close to home and personal for me, the other around the globe, but just as powerful. The latter touches a global hotspot, the former, the greater community in which I live.
The first relates to Cornerstone Wesleyan Church. On Friday afternoon, April 21 , 2017, their pastor, Densel Ball, was involved in a car accident where he was thrown from the vehicle. He has sustained severe head injuries and was taken to the ICU at Overland Park Regional.
Cornerstone, the church, came into my family’s life back in 2007, when we were at the stage of moving from the mega-church we attended to something more community-oriented and local. When we were searching, we narrowed our focus to two churches, Cornerstone, and the Avondale Methodist church where we finally ended up going.
During that search, we made connections at both churches, and still maintain friendships at Cornerstone, even though it isn’t the one of the two we now regularly attend. There was a change in pastors about the time we were finalizing our decision — that was Densel arriving at Cornerstone.
Over the years we’ve kept in touch with Cornerstone, and seen the community of faith there that continued to develop around Densel’s leadership. And though we didn’t continue to attend Cornerstone, Densel made my son and I feel very much at home and a part of the community of believers when we attend the monthly men’s breakfast sponsored by Cornerstone.
So when I saw on Facebook this morning the post about the accident, and had to look back to yesterday to find the posts about the accident itself, it was a hard punch to the emotions. The Bells had recently gone through a surgery for a brain tumor for Densel’s wife, and now this for him.
Yet when you look at the Facebook page, you can see the circle of friends, of the church, of the faith, coming together in prayer. The drawing together of the community in faith, praying for healing, ready to trust whatever happens.
As I type this they CT scan today didn’t come back with good results, and the prognosis is still very critical. Though not there in person, I am filling in the circle of faith with my own prayers.
The church is having a prayer-oriented worship service tomorrow, continuing the ministry of the worship and the faith, as they have been taught well by their pastor.
The second example comes from Egypt, and the Coptic Christians there. This article in Christianity Today tells the story of a widow forgiving the suicide terrorist who killed her husband on Palm Sunday. In a televised interview she noted:
“I’m not angry at the one who did this,” said his wife, children by her side. “I’m telling him, ‘May God forgive you, and we also forgive you. Believe me, we forgive you.’
“‘You put my husband in a place I couldn’t have dreamed of.’”
This example of forgiveness is sending shock-waves through the Muslim communities in Egypt. It is also creating a resurgence of faith within the Coptic community itself. Christians in the Arab world have been declining in numbers in the past decades, with severe persecution driving them out.
The article also talks about the role of the Coptic Christians in the Arab Spring, something that I never saw in the media articles of the time. Yet that glow has faded, but a new opportunity of faith is arising, and my question is, will we of the West support, or hinder our brothers of faith in the Muslim world?
I mentioned that there would be two examples of faith, but I’ll allude to a third. This week I recorded and edited two quick video interviews to be used in our worship service at the Avondale Methodist church on Sunday. I won’t mention specific details, but they discuss a program of our church that in its own essential way is demonstrating the reach of the faith in the community.
The two main examples are just that, examples, of faith in action. We need to make sure that each of us continues to be examples when and wherever we have the chance, and to stay involved as communities of faith.