Colonial Bus

Friday I drove my son to the ATM so he could withdraw his paycheck and then deposit it in his bank account. He filed for direct deposit for his new job at Burger King, but it hasn’t gone through yet. On our way home, the shifter broke in my car….again. We drove home past the Rob Zombie concert in first gear with the blinkers on. I’m surprised one of the cops didn’t pull us over and give me a field sobriety test or something.

Saturday I slept until 2:30 (working night shift again), then drove to the auto parts store to buy the shifter bushing necessary to fix my car. $25 later, I drove home. This time it only took about ten minutes to fix. I’ll keep you posted as to how long the repair lasts this time. Oh, and evidently the battery died while I was fixing it, because the music stopped. I got to teach my kids how to jump start a car!

Then I came inside and checked my facebook account. There was a news story that said, “IFD Tweet: all passengers have been extricated. Injured are being assessed and transported to area hospitals.” This was from the Indianapolis Fire Department in regards to a bus crash. I didn’t think much of it except to think that I was glad all the passengers got out. The tweet didn’t seem to indicate differently.

Then they mentioned that three people had died. Then they tweeted, “passengers on bus were mostly teens from Colonial Hill Baptist Church returning from camp. Please pray for all involved.” That’s when the shock started to set in.

When we moved to the Indianapolis area back in 2005 we started looking for a church. We went to Colonial Hills Baptist Church, and while we liked the preaching, the music, and the people, the church had about 800 people. Our church back in Iowa had a membership of about 20-30 people. 800 seemed too overwhelming. A month later we registered our kids for school there at Colonial Christian School, and they asked us if we had found a church home yet. We said no, we had been to CHBC and it was great, but there were just too many people for us. They suggested Trinity Baptist Church in Westfield, which is a church they helped plant several years prior. They said, “It’s just like our church, except it’s smaller.” So we went there, and we’ve been members ever since.

As I said, our kids went to school at Colonial for several years (until the economy forced us to homeschool them). We know many of the families that go there through both school, speech and debate club, and the connections that still exist between our two churches.

And so it is that when we heard the news of this bus crash, our hearts were heavy and we immediately started praying for these families. We wondered who the three fatalities were. We wondered if any of the people we knew were directly affected by this crash. As we watched the news coverage, we saw video of some of the passengers that we knew. They showed the parking lot of the church, and my wife was able to point out various families’ vehicles. This accident was hitting home.

Then we got the word that the three fatalities were an adult man, his wife, and a teenager. We have since found out who the couple is, but since no official word has been released to the media, I will refrain from posting their identity. However, I can say that there are two people in the presence of the Lord right now that were not there yesterday at lunchtime.

God is not surprised by any of this. Some would ask how God can be so cruel, to rip these people away from their families like this. God has a plan. He never promises that His plan will be easy. He never says, “Follow me and I will take away all your problems.” There are families in Indianapolis right now that are hurting. Two families are grieving because of the separation from their loved ones that they must now endure until the day they are reunited in heaven. Many more families are dealing with the pain and trouble associated with the non-fatal injuries to the other people on the bus. We saw one boy we know loaded into an ambulance with a broken leg. That’s painful. There are many other injuries of varying levels of severity, and only time will tell how these people are physically.

But more than the physical, there are families that are hurting emotionally. There are teenagers that just went through a traumatic experience. There is a child who won’t see his parents again until he sees them in heaven. There are younger kids that were in the second bus who watched this crash occur. This trauma will have to be faced. And so I will keep praying for these people today, tomorrow, and probably for weeks to come. We love our friends, and we hurt for them.

I don’t know what those three people had for lunch on their way home from Camp CoBeAc, but knowing these trips, it was probably McDonalds. I’m betting if they had known this would be their last earthly meal, they would have gone for something a little nicer. My point is that we never know when our time on earth is done. Hold your family close, and keep short accounts with the people you love, because you don’t know which words you speak will be the last words you ever speak on earth.

And most of all, take from this crash the certainty that those who died yesterday are not gone forever, they have merely moved to another country. It is a country with no phone service, outbound travel is prohibited, and anybody can get a visa. All you have to do is trust in the death of Christ to cover the penalty you owe for being a sinner, and you get a ticket to go to this country when your time on earth is done. Those three people that died, if they trusted in Christ, are now experiencing true joy in the presence of their Lord. The only thing that could make their joy more complete is arriving at the day when the rest of us who know the Lord move there as well. That day will come soon for all of us.  These people are not gone forever, but just for a little while.

I have my ticket ready. How about you?


About Steve Picray

I am a conservative Baptist Pastor in the midwestern United States. Every day I commit my life to Jesus Christ. This blog is my view on life. My prayer is that, by reading what I write, you will learn more about me, more about God, and be assisted in becoming the person God means for you to be. If you have a question, just e-mail me at spicray AT gmail DOT com. God Bless!
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