Letting Go

A little over two hours ago, we put Levi, our oldest son, on a van that was headed to Houston for a youth mission trip. After January’s accident, I don’t think that I will ever take for granted that – when I send my kids away on a trip – they are guaranteed to come back in one piece.

It was tough watching them drive away, and Sheila didn’t even go. She was afraid that if she got upset, it would make it difficult for Levi to leave. I’m glad I got to go, though, because I witnessed something amazing this morning.

Mike and Diane Cope’s son, Chris, who was seriously injured in the January accident, climbed right into the same van with Levi, while his parents anxiously watched from a few feet away. Whatever Sheila and I are going through, it must be infinitely worse for these guys.

On a rational level, it is easy to tell yourself that statistically speaking, its not going to happen again. And, in all reasonable probability, it won’t. But to come so close to losing a child, and then to have the courage to let go a little – to put him on another van for another long drive with another group of kids -and to know that there are no guarantees things will be different – that is just plain amazing to me.

I love Mike and Diane. Mike is a great preacher and writer. His words have had a great (and positive) influence over me during the last few years. And Dianne has meant a lot to our family because of her involvement in the life of our oldest daughter, Rachel. But, this morning, these guys became my heroes for reasons that have nothing to do with any of that stuff.

I invite you to join me in praying for the safety of all of the kids (and sponsors) that are on this trip, together with the nervous parents that are left behind.

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