Mike Cope's blog

Monday, August 16, 2004

Any other summer Olympics addicts out there? When it's all over, I shouldn't have to watch any more television for the rest of the year (except for the playoffs . . . and the Series . . . and the Cowboys games). Well, I thought I could hold it together yesterday as I pulled out Megan's old adult jogging stroller as a sermon illustration. It was the Sunday so many parents are dropping off kids for school, and I was using the stroller as a symbol of how we've tried lovingly to guide our children and of how difficult it is each time we let go of the handles. But . . . there was something about touching that thing that just overwhelmed me. Megan and I covered thousands of miles together. After her death, we gave away so many things to help other families in similar situations. But I couldn't give the stroller away. It has just hung in the garage for years. This was my first time to have it down in a long time. I probably should have taken it out for a run this week! It's embarrassing to fall apart in front of people. And yet, God tends to use moments like that to allow others to bring their own emotions before him and one another.

11 Comments:

  • Mike - I really appreciate how you do show emotion at times - it is a reminder to me that I don't have to put on my "happy, everything is perfect in my life" face to go to church. Actually, I shouldn't feel like I need to put on that face - it is a hindrance to true community. Why is it that we can so easily get misled by the lie that we must be perfect before we can come to God?

    By Blogger Jenni, at 8/16/2004 06:42:00 AM  

  • Mike - how can we express our gratitutde to you and how do we thank you for the great blessing you bestowed on us yesterday? You allowed us to not only mourn with you, but also to address some of our own areas of grief. There's just no way to adequately thank you!

    btw-I had the opportunity to spend more than a "welcome to Highland" with a couple of families bringing their kids to ACU. They, for the most part, made their way to the front of the auditorium with tears of saddness on their cheeks, and mde their way back with huge smiles and tears of relief on their faces. What a blessing for them!!

    Among them, a pair of grandparents from Missouri that were kind of hanging heads in pain of separation from their grandson - but after services, we again "coincided" - their comment was, "If it weren't so far, a 12-hour drive, we'd be here every week. What a great group in this church!" They left their grandson with their concerns soothed - with their saddness lifted by the Transition Sunday service.

    And yes, you have another Olympics addict here. I've really been torn between being transfixed watching these young athletes and watching my Padres stomp the Reds. I doubt we'll take the NL West, but it looks good for the Wild Card berth and maybe even see our fabulous short stop, Khalil Green, be named NL Rookie of the Year. Now if we could convince our cry baby sluggers to quit their complaining about the size of our new Ballpark and just get back to hitting the BALL - we'd do even better. :( Dreams are wonderful, aren't they!! LOL

    By Blogger Kathy, at 8/16/2004 06:42:00 AM  

  • wow! double wow! i wish i could find the words that really convey my gratitude for how GOD and his spirit worked through you yesterday. it was incredible.

    my heart just keeps overflowing with the song, the visions of that video, the incredible determination on the father's face. i could see GOD's face in the father's face as he pulled his son in the boat. a great vision of what GOD does for each and every one of us.

    and then you and your visual aid of the stroller. those few moments of silence as you, and then us, tears flowing from the precious memories. those moments of silence spoke volumes of words.

    and then your words. yes, GOD poured through you the gift of preaching.

    incredible. there's that word again.

    is there any chance you might post on your blog your words? powerful words that can be passed on. i don't think i could do them justice by trying to paraphrase. so many parents and children out there need to hear those very same exact words.

    thank you, mike, for allowing GOD to use you. HE is glorified.

    By Blogger karen, at 8/16/2004 07:00:00 AM  

  • I wasn't there but I teared at the thought of you running with the empty stroller! Oh my! Had to stop tyoning for a sec...
    Grace, love, and comfort to you and Diane in the next week (especially the 26th). Stephanie

    By Blogger SG, at 8/16/2004 07:40:00 AM  

  • Mike-

    Can I echo what some of the other Highland members have already said? Thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable about your love for Megan. It has been and is a powerful model of the gospel for me, and a sure sign that the Kingdom continues to "break through" into our world, as you often say.

    By Blogger Matt, at 8/16/2004 08:52:00 AM  

  • Mike, Thank you so much for willingess to be real to people, May God bless you in your goals to helping people see Christ in you and through you!

    By Blogger CL, at 8/16/2004 09:59:00 AM  

  • Yes, I cried,and so did the woman sitting next to me.

    I kept thinking of my brother ... and the woman next to me was thinking about her son.

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 8/16/2004 11:52:00 AM  

  • I wish I had a good comment to sum up what I want to say, but I don't. Romans 1:8 comes close, though.

    "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world."

    By Blogger Q, at 8/16/2004 12:00:00 PM  

  • Yes, I held it together during the "My Redeemer Lives" montage while they were training, but as soon as he was in the water, towing his son in the boat, I lost it. Thankfully, my wife didn't make fun of me, nor did any of the other wet eyed people around me. There was just a look on his face that's hard to describe. I don't even have kids yet, but I feel challenged by the Hoyt's to have that sort of love for my sons or daughters, regardless of their physical condition. The sort of self-scarifical love is a powerful testimony.

    On a side not, did anyone else think, "That's me in the boat...despite how 'whole' I think I am, I am just a helpless son that needs to be towed by his Father."

    Man, I'd better quit. Crying at work isn't cool! :D

    By Blogger Greg Kendall-Ball, at 8/16/2004 02:11:00 PM  

  • Hi... my name is Mandy Richey and I am an "Olympo-holic"! Hey! Part of my obsession formed as I grew up in a family whose life STOPPED ever 4 years to watch the games! I share the obsession, man!

    Mike... please tell me you DID NOT show that "I Know My Redeemer Lives" video without warning your congregation! EVERY TIME I see that video I SOB. I do not cry quietly or in a small way. I HEAVE with sobs! It is embarassing enough when you know it is coming, but it is really embarassing (thanks to Dana Davis) at a Thanksgiving assembly with the entire school in attendance when you have no KLEENEX! Trying to wipe your nose on your sleeve has its limits! To all ministers and speakers... Please! For the love of all waterproof mascara, at least let us bring some facial tissues!

    Speaking of tissues... Now that I am a mom I mourn for you and Diane in a way I never could before. My memories of Megan include: 1) The time I was babysitting her and did not know she would empty every drawer in the house. I spent the whole time cleaning up, so afraid that you and Diane would think me incompetent as a 14 year old! I should have just listend to Matthew (who was about 6) when he said "She does it all the time"... That's what you said when you got home! Megan was always on the go and always moving. Her soul had more energy than anyone I have ever known. 2) Megan and my dad "wrestling" together in our living room floor. She was all smiles and giggles and Daddy just loved it because he could make her laugh. 3) The time you came to our house and she was still... I think she was on some medication and had been sick. We said, "It just isn't right without her moving around all the time." I'm sure that's what you think... It's just isn't right. We sure did love that little girl. We sure do love you and Diane. And I want you to know that I'm thinking of you special right now and I think you must be one of the bravest humans I know if you actually took that stroller into the pulpit.

    Mandy

    By Blogger Mandy, at 8/18/2004 11:24:00 AM  

  • Mike, I just wanted to say thank you for your sermon Sunday. It was wonderful! That was the second time that I have seen that video (the first time was at the Tulsa Soul Winning Workshop). Me and all my male friends cried like little boys. There is something that, as a father, is inexplicable about the man's effort for his son.

    BTW, what was the man's name and is the video available somewhere (especially with I Know My Redeemer Lives).

    By Blogger R Tuerck, at 8/19/2004 09:29:00 PM  

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