I remember the day I heard the news. My family was sitting at a restaurant table, discussing the sermon we had heard earlier that Sunday morning. In the midst of our banter and laughter, a text message popped up on my wife’s phone. Suddenly, the world impinged itself upon us and the table grew somber. Like thousands of people all over the country, and especially here in Birmingham, we heard of the tragedy that had struck the Burgess family. And, like multitudes around us, we prayed for God to overwhelm them with his compassionate grace. Bronner – A Journey to Understanding (New Hope Publishers), written by Sherri Burgess after the loss of her two-year old son, is both heart-rending and inspiring. Like the Psalms of the Hebrew Scriptures, its pages rustle with fierce declarations of faith, daring questions, and lamentations of loss. As moving as her story is, it is what’s between the lines that I found most compelling. The context of every sentence is love. Behind the questions and grief and assertions regarding God’s plans and purposes, there is profound love. Sherri’s faith is powerful, and her hope in God’s ultimate victory over death is inspiring. But love trumps both faith and hope, and her testimony is one of deep and abiding love for both her son Bronner and her Lord.
There has never been a consensus among Christians as to why bad things happen to God’s people. Some Christians take great comfort in believing that everything that occurs does so in accordance to God’s divine plan. Other Christians find such a view demeaning of God and incompatible with his goodness and love. What all Christians have agreed upon, however, is God’s eventual victory over death and the hell that rides with it. One day, Jesus will set the world in order. He will redeem and restore it. All that was lost will be found. Every pain will be erased. All that is wrong will be made right. Jesus will reign, and every enemy, including death and sorrow, will be conquered. On that day, Rick and Sherri Burgess will get their son back. Thanks be to God.
-Darrel Holcombe, Owner
Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts
Colonial Promenade, Alabaster