An Inspirational Word from Fox Creek Christian Church

Fox Creek RoadMark Wells, lead minister from Fox Creek Christian Church, sent in this inspirational writing after all the tragedies Lawrenceburg has suffered in the past few weeks:

As we woke up these past few weeks, we were forced to realize that the whole world around us is truly in a state of chaos.  It’s not some horrible, spicy chili dog induced nightmare or some twisted mad scientist’s plot from a blockbuster movie script. The constant threat of attack at the hands of both foreign and domestic enemies is all too real.  Not only do those that wear a military or law enforcement uniform have to take precaution and pay close attention to their harsh surroundings, but every man, woman and child that walks down the street. Not only do we fear for our safety while traveling to hostile countries and unfriendly destinations, but a simple trip to the supermarket possesses its own hazards.  And not only are tragedies and senseless acts of evil happening in places like Tehran, Iran or Paris, France or New York, New York or Chicago, Illinois or Colorado Springs, Colorado or San Bernardino, California, but tragedy and evil is creeping its way into our own little community.  

A little over a week ago we’ve found our quiet little community receiving the unwanted news broadcast attention usually reserved for much larger cities.  We have been inundated with news vans and reporters covering events like a high speed car chase which ended in a head-on collision and subsequent shooting of a suspect.  The high speed pursuit lead officers down winding county roads and came to a cinema worthy climactic conclusion as one of our cities heroic officers was forced to place himself between a gunman, his fellow officer and an elderly incapacitated minister injured in the collision.  This brave officer had to employ his police training in order to fulfill his commitment to our community to protect and serve.  But even more than his police training, this officer had to engage his Christian training which compelled him to become a police officer in the first place.  Officer Clay Crouch’s Christian duty required him to act as he likely fell back on Bible verses such as John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  And 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”  It gives us a little bit of peace knowing that our city and county is being protected by men and women that have devoted themselves to putting their lives on the line for our community.  

Sadly, those same news teams that covered the chase and shooting were too quickly directed to Anderson County again when a horrific car accident on Fox Creek Road claimed the life of a young husband and father.  Twenty-four year old Jonathan Robert Liles-Meeks, was driving with his wife and four year old son when the car they were in met head-on with a pick-up truck.  Meeks’ wife and son and the driver and son of the other vehicle all suffered injuries in the accident, but the impact of that accident will last much longer than the cuts, scrapes and broken bones suffered by those involved.  The permanency of a lost life is an issue most of us have a terribly difficult time grasping.  The loss of a husband and father creates a void that may be lessened over time but can never be completely filled.  We know that our grieving can last a lifetime but God’s Word instructs us how to grieve.  1 Thessalonians 4:13 tells us, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”  For the Christian who has committed their life to Christ, there is hope.  There is a hope for something more than death, there is a hope for something more than just memories, there is a hope for life everlasting. Please let that be a comfort.

And then as if the events that had just unfolded within a week’s time were not enough, the evening news once again came to Anderson County.  This time there was no chase, no accident and no vehicles were involved but police and emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene of a devastating incident.  Senselessly a mother of three was taken from her children’s lives in a disturbing murder-suicide act.  Three children’s lives were forever changed in the instant when one of our devoted, overworked and under appreciated social workers delivered the shattering word that their mother was dead.  Nothing can prepare a person for such crushing news, especially three children. Even with stories like these played out on a far too regular basis on the nightly news broadcast, there is nothing normal or casual about hearing that someone you loved and cared for and depended on is gone.   So what helps?

As a community, as friends and neighbors or even as total strangers, we must come together and provide hope and reassurance in these times of calamity. We must come together with the police officer, with the injured minister, with the young widowed wife and fatherless child, with the social worker and with the three motherless children.  The Scriptures say in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, ” Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  That’s the encouragement and edification that comes from being part of a loving family.  

One of the things that drew me and my wife and kids back to Lawrenceburg after a ministry we had in London, Kentucky is the fact that Lawrenceburg and Anderson County seems like family.  I know as a Wells I have family ties to a very large portion of the population in this area, but it goes further than that.  It’s that feeling of family that makes Lawrenceburg and Anderson County feel like home to those that weren’t raised here.  And it’s that sense of family that helps bring us together in tough times.  

I know it’s already happening through the efforts of different individuals and groups coming together to give support and reassurance and comfort to those that need it. As family we need to let those that are hurting know we care. Give them a hug or a phone call. Step up and help however you can, either through some physical way, monetarily or just pray. When family hurts, we hurt with them. Gossip and rumors and speculations and judgement do nothing to heal the hurts.  The Apostle Paul wrote about the unique characteristics of the church in 1 Corinthians 12:20-26 when he said,  “As it is, there are many parts, but one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”  We can identify with those who are hurting because we’ve all hurt at one time or another in our own lives. We can empathize with their pain and with their loss. Supportive friends and family can do a lot to comfort those that are hurting. There may be nothing else you can do for one of these here in our Lawrenceburg and Anderson County family other than cry with them.  Don’t underestimate the power of a shoulder, a listening ear or even our tears which can demonstrate a deep concern for our friends and the victims of such tragedies. If you’re finding yourself at a loss of comfort, remember the words of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Written by Mark Wells, Lead Minister at Fox Creek Christian Church.mark

Mark grew up at Fox Creek and has served on staff at Fox Creek Christian Church since January of 2010.  Mark graduated from Kentucky State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is working on his Masters Degree in Theology. Mark is married to his wife, Shanda and together they have 2 children Mickenzie and Hunter. You can email Mark at Mark@foxcreekchristian.com.

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