When Tragedy and Grace Collide

His name is Larry. 

He is one of our regular attenders at Illuminate.  Prone to judgement due to his tattoos on his face and body, nose piercings and thin build. 

He has experienced many individuals criticize him for his appearance, or judge him because he doesn't "look" or "behave" like everyone else.

But Dan and I love Larry.  

A couple of weeks ago, Larry lost his sister in a drunk driving accident.

A marine was behind the wheel of the vehicle that took her life.

We as a congregation prayed over Larry and his family. That God would reveal Himself. That grace would flow.  That peace would fill hearts. And we praised God that his sister was with the Him, healed and whole.  

What transpired the next week brought us to tears and to our knees in praise.

Larry had the opportunity to meet with the young man right after his sister's memorial service.

Sitting with his brother in law, the marine sitting with his sister and brother, Larry began a conversation of forgiveness.  

Larry, speaking of the peace he had because his sister was in heaven. 

Larry, a young man so many glance over or throw judgement towards, forgave a man who killed his sister. 

Larry, who in the eyes of the world had every right to hate the person in front of him, showed this man grace and led him to the One who could ultimately forgive. 

And Heal.

And not only did Larry forgive and lead that young man to the Lord, but the young marine's brother and sister joined God's family as well.

I learned a lot that night.

I learned that God truly can use anyone to further His Kingdom. To  exhibit His love and grace and healing on those broken, tossed and abandoned. That He doesn't just use the Pastors of His churches.

He uses the ordinary, those with issues, struggles, pain in their souls to bring forth His glory.






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