Sam had no idea that a bomb-filled car had just entered the church parking lot. After the explosion, he stumbled outside and shook the dust and debris from his clothes.
I asked Sam how he felt after surviving the bomb blast.
Sam is part of the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ in Nigeria. He lives in the city of Jos, where Kay and Iived for many years during our time in Nigeria.
Sam was attending church when a car bomb exploded. This is the church where Kay and I attended for almost 10 years. The church where Kay played the piano. The church where I preached on several occasions. The church where we trained people in the basics of the Christian life, how to share their faith with others, how to follow Jesus closely. This is the church where the pastor cancelled the service one Sunday and the congregation walked 2 miles to the main market and shared Christ with vendors and customers.
I viewed photos of the wreckage. Broken glass, twisted metal, parts of the car that housed the bomb. But the photo that wrenched my heart was a debris-covered pew. Like the pew I sat in for 10 years. Like the pews where I helped serve communion. Like the pews that held people learning how to walk daily in the power of the Holy Spirit and how to introduce their neighbors to Jesus.
I asked Sam about the aftermath of the bomb blast. He said that as people walked out of the rubble and dusted themselves off, a growing awareness spread that the sovereign God who controls everything had spared their lives. The bomber had been thwarted. He couldn’t get into the building. He couldn’t even get very close. He had detonated the bomb far enough away that only one person died, almost everyone had been spared even though the building is severely damaged. Relief spread, but also a sense of being spared for a purpose.
This has been a good day to meet old friends and to make new friends. Especially an old friend whose life was spared.
It made me think: What if next Sunday was my last day? Or what if it was yours?
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