Celebration of Life

On October 30, 2012 the local news reported on a young man who had gone out to celebrate a winning victory for his University’s team and in the course of the evening was assaulted in an altercation.  Fight between overly zealous college students is not normally unusual.  However, in this particular incident the young man, Tyler, in his fall from being aggressively assaulted, landed on his skull and as a result had a major brain damaging trauma.  Tyler was immediately rushed to the hospital.  It did not fare well for Tyler.  His injuries were so severe that the trauma team induced a coma condition while they tried to save Tyler’s life.  Over the days that followed it did not look hopeful for this young man.  His family was gathered together and told that what remained of Tyler could only be to serve as an organ donor.  Needless to say, his family was devastated.  The anguish Tyler’s family and his extended community felt was heartbreaking. 

However, Tyler’s family would not give up.  They prayed for Tyler and knew to hand his fate to God to decide.  As a member of my church, Tyler’s father, Roger, implored with the Church congregation to pray for Tyler’s life.  In December Tyler’s father, Roger, spoke to the church and shared what prayers for Tyler had done so far.  After weeks in Intensive Care and in a coma state, Tyler opened his eyes and was able to communicate with his father.  While still in a very weaken state Tyler was able to start coming back to life.  His father, Roger, was overcome with emotion knowing that what he was seeing was a miracle in his own son’s life.  As he shared with the congregation that Sunday, I knew inside of me that Tyler was going to be alright.  After the service ended I went up to Roger and spoke privately with him.  I told him that Tyler was going to be made whole again.  That God was going to give him is whole son back to him.  That he did not have to fear Tyler’s fate.

Today, at the 11:00a.m. service at Living Hope Church in Vancouver, Washington Tyler came to church with his entire family.  He was able to extend his gratitude and love to his church family.  He is using a wheelchair and has a bit of paralysis on one arm but Tyler is very definitely exhibiting an amazing recovery. 

While the service was already in celebration mode to celebrate the results of the Superbowl, no one knew that Tyler and his family were going to be coming to this service.  Tyler was inspired only a half hour before to come to church.  The worship was in already in “party” mode and was playing “Celebrate” by Earth, Wind & Fire, a classic song of rejoicing.  We even had confetti strewn around the ground from the previous service.  Who knew that Tyler would be coming to the next service and present us all with a real reason for celebration.  A celebration of God’s amazing glory.  A celebration of a life that is only beginning and I know will have much to offer to the world as Tyler continues toward full recovery.  For as I told Tyler this morning — he is going to be whole and he is going to have an amazingly successful life.

Miracles do happen.  They happen all the time.  They happen to those who truly believe that God watches over us and wants only the very best for us.  Can miracles happen to you — you bet they can!

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