As soon as we moved to Shreveport we began visiting different churches. One thing that’s good about being in the bible belt is there are lots to chose from! Our second week here we visited First Baptist Church. I remember thinking it looked like a college campus because it was so big but the service we went to was relatively small. We heard a good sermon and people were friendly to us. After the service as we were walking out I saw a girl run up to the pastor and give him a huge hug. I remember thinking, that must be his daughter. As a daddy’s girl myself, I always get a little emotional seeing a daughter and her dad sharing that special bond. A couple weeks later I was reading the news online and saw that a local youth group from Shreveport had been in a bad bus wreck on the way to a summer camp. I was shocked to see that it was the youth group from First Baptist. Having been on countless trips as a youth and a leader I felt burdened for this youth group and began praying for them daily. As more details came available I learned that one youth died at the scene and almost everyone on board sustained injuries, many serious. Among many others this included their youth pastor and one girl who was critically injured- Maggie Lee Henson. Maggie Lee was the daughter of the pastor who had preached that Sunday, the girl who had ran up to give him a hug. As I kept up with her Care Page I was inspired by the faith of her parents as well as how the community of Shreveport surrounded this church with their prayers. All around town signs were posted of people praying for the youth group of First Baptist. Unfortunately Maggie Lee’s injuries were too severe and she died several weeks after the crash. To honor her memory her family decided to spend her 13th birthday doing acts of service for others. They decided to try to get 1300 people to commit to just one act of kindness. They decided to call this day “Maggie Lee For Good.” As of last week over 17,000 people across the country had signed up. As I have read about the impact that this young girl has made on so many people, many of whom she had never met, I am reminded of how God works in mysterious yet astounding ways. How amazing for a horrible situation to bring God into focus to so many people. How amazing that a family suffering from grief could still minister to others. How amazing to see the town that we moved to extending love to those around them. So…I challenge you tomorrow to join with many other people and to perform an act of kindness for someone else. It can be as simple as sending a friend an encouraging email or buying some food for your church’s food pantry. My kindergarteners and myself will be participating as well. Life is short and precious. Let us do all we can to make it count…for good!
2 weeks ago