Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thanking God for His Faithfulness

Students, faculty and staff mark the third anniversary
March 2.

For those affiliated with Bluffton University in 2007 – March 2 will never be just another day. I know when I turn the calendar to March 2, there’s heaviness in my heart even though I didn’t personally know anybody on the baseball bus when the accident happened. I still remember exactly what I was doing when hearing about the accident (cleaning the stove on a random vacation day taken to play “domestic goddess.”)

From the chatter on Facebook and Twitter this morning – many of you feel the same way. “03.02.07...never forgotten....” “Thinking about baseball players in busses today.” “Proud of all of the 2007 baseball men.. 3.2.07, never forgotten” and more.

It’s hard to believe, but the first-year students in 2007 are now seniors. Approximately ¾ of Bluffton’s current student body were not Bluffton students when the accident happened. They weren’t on campus to share in the grief, nor to experience the outpouring of support.

It was that outpouring of support that sustained the players and coaches on the 2007 team, the friends and family of Zachary Arend, David Betts, Scott Harmon, Cody Holp and Tyler Williams and the entire campus community through that spring and beyond.

Campus pastor Tig Intagliata led a litany based on the 23rd Psalm today at the Circle of Remembrance. Two stanzas in particular from the reading grabbed my attention:

I will fear no evil. For you are with me.
Even when we have not been able to feel your presence, you have been by our side holding on to us, carrying us through the deepest valleys of darkness.
We find courage in the midst of our fear because we know you are with us. We can face the future with hope, knowing that we do not have to face it alone.

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
We thank you for our families, friends and strangers who have reached out to us and comforted us with your love and kindness.

Let us pray that in time March 2 will become a day, yes to acknowledge our loss and our experiences, but also a day to give thanks for God’s faithfulness and comfort.

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