I could hardly recognize the voice of the person on the other end of the phone line as he sobbed uncontrollably. It was early evening, and I was at home. I knew the voice belonged to our Athletic Director, who helps coach the boys basketball team at Cornerstone. I remember thinking, "oh no, there has been an accident." Instead, through his tears, he related that one of our players had found his mom dead that morning. I was crushed and joined the teacher in crying for this student. If you are a regular reader of these updates, you will know this student and his mom from the recent update I wrote about two brothers called "Make sure he finishes..." This mom had been through so much and loved her children so deeply. Lord why?
Amazingly, this young man had lost his mother in the morning...and still suited up to play in a Cornerstone basketball game that night. While the coach noted that he seemed a bit out of sorts (he forgot his uniform), he never said anything to anyone -- he just played. It wasn't until after the game that a family member came over and told the coaches. Crushed couldn't begin to describe how they felt.
I have often noted that, for a small school, Cornerstone seems to experience an inordinate amount of sickness and pain. But to be honest, as I see our small school respond -- with offers of financial support, assistance, hugs, prayers -- it kind of starts to make sense. You see God had this young man in a small school that feels like family at a time when he needed family the most. Praise God for a body of teachers, students, and donors who know how to share God's love at the most difficult of times.
God, be with this young man as he grieves...let him see your hand and feel your comfort. Be with his family as they work through custody and other arrangements and be with Cornerstone as we are again called to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with this young man.