Be still and know that I am God. This was a lesson in faith and an experience that we were thrust into on June 3, 2015. I call it Black Wednesday. The worst day in the life of our family. The day two full dressed United States Air Force officers, one a Chaplain, arrived at our front door.
I was at work on my way back to the office after our Human Trafficking Team from the Colorado Springs PD had just completed an operation. I was riding shotgun in an unmarked cruiser when Marilynn called me. Crying, she said,” Kevin’s dead.” She told me the Air Force officers were at the house now. I was numb and crying the whole drive home.
Kevin is our youngest child and second son. He had just turned twenty, two weeks earlier. He was due to come home in seven days from his one-year tour of duty at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. He was a cop in the USAF, 8thSecurity Forces Squadron. His next tour was to be in Germany.
We last spoke to Kevin on his birthday, May 19th, via FaceTime. His last words to us were, “I love you guys.” Two weeks later he died in his sleep of an apparent sudden arrhythmic episode – his heart just stopped beating. It is an adult-like version of sudden infant death syndrome. No drugs, no alcohol, no enlarged heart were detected in the autopsy. His official cause of death was listed as unknown.
Kevin did arrive home as scheduled on June 10th, only it was in a flag draped coffin in the belly of a commercial aircraft. He was given a full military funeral and we joined a fraternity no parent ever wants to be a part of – we are now a Gold Star family.
The following days were filled with grief, numbness, crying and shaking and at times, outright wailing. I can genuinely appreciate the scripture about wailing and gnashing of teeth now. You are probably wondering – how can this be a holy moment? A God moment?
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. That verse sustained Marilynn and me in those dark days, and still does now, nearly four years later. Through all the chaos, human emotions, we both relied on this command and truth – He is God and we need to be still and trust and know He knows what He is about.
Believe me, I still cry and miss Kevin dearly. I’m crying as I write this part of my journey. I’m still human, still a parent. And I can be still and know that He is God. Not only know it, but have seen Him in my life since that day. Kevin’s death isn’t just one holy moment that brought us closer to God. It is a moment that continues to allow us to encounter and serve God in so many ways.
Since Kevin’s death I have been invited to train thousands of USAF Security Force’s Defenders in the Warrior, Servant, Leader mindset. Some even served with Kevin in Korea. I have seen God working in the lives of the folks I have trained.
One Defender wrote in her course evaluation, “You have given me the tools to help save my marriage.” Another, “I’m going to be a better father and husband.” Still another told me in person, “My husband took your class. I don’t know what you told him but he came home a changed man. Thank you!” Those are holy moments!
There are no less than nine times in scripture throughout the Old and New Testaments that call, command, us to be holy, as God is holy (see Leviticus chapters 11, 19, 20, 21; Deuteronomy 23:14; 1 Peter 15-16). How do we do that? Be still, listen and learn – He is God. How we live our lives should be a reflection of God and His love for us and for others. That is being holy and creating holy moments in the lives of the people we touch.
The few moments I have shared are unique only in who the characters are. What is universal, constant, unchanging is the truth they reveal.
When we face tough times in life, I genuinely believe and have experienced, we do not want to know the answer to the question, “Why? Why me?” We want to know and see the face of the Answerer. We want to know and see God, face to face, in our hearts and mind and know that He is God, know that we are loved and that things do have a reason, even if we never know what it is.
Let me put it in a perspective that might help make sense of what I am saying. Do you have someone you love and they love you? Perhaps a spouse, child or absolute best friend. Would you rather get a text, email or card from them that says, “I love you”, or see them in person, hold them and just silently enjoy that embrace and know that love?
That’s the truth of holy moments. It’s not something you simply read about or hear about in some song. They are moments YOU experience. And many times, YOU are that holy moment for someone else. You are the face and presence and love of God in another person’s life.
Living a life of holiness is living a life of giving and receiving holy moments – bringing you and others closer in relationship to God. As James 1:22 says, “Be doers of the Word, not just hearers.”
The question then is not “Why me? What is the meaning of life?” The great question for which you will receive a great answer is, “What are you doing with your life that is participating in the Holy nature of God?” Knowing that God knew you before you were conceived and consecrated you for a purpose, the question we should be asking is, “God, what is my purpose for which you created me?”
Be still, listen and learn. God will answer that question! Proverb 16:3 is a great verse to live by: “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be made known.” Are you ready?