My heart is heavy tonight, so heavy it feels like it’s sank into my stomach. My friend is in jail, and it’s something I never would have imagined might happen. Because it’s already public on a news site, I’ll share it here and explain a little further why it’s so heavy on my heart tonight.
His name is Chad, and we’ve been ministry co-workers since we met in almost 3 1/2 years ago in May of 2011. We had both signed up to attend the same youth workers’ unconference, and he had emailed me asking if we might carpool since we were from the same town. I said sure, and that weekend our friendship was born. We’ve networked on various events. I’ve spoken at his youth group. We’ve had deep talks about life and struggles, praying for one another, popping in regularly to say, “Hey, how’s life?”
Over the last year, we’ve lost touch and drifted apart, our conversations becoming more and more infrequent. Here and there he’d pop into my mind and I’d wonder how he was doing. Then tonight someone sent me a link on Facebook to an Eau Claire news article. Chad was one of nine people arrested in an undercover child sex investigation.
I’m having the most difficult time focusing on this test that’s coming tomorrow morning because all I want to do is go home, visit him, talk to him, and pray for him. When one member of the body suffers, the whole body suffers. My heart is heavy for him and I only want to be there for him in this like he was there for me during my own struggles.
I definitely plan to visit him when I’m in town next. Hopefully I can get other area youth pastors together to go see him, to show him that the body of Christ is still here for him and that we’re not going to give up on him. The love Christ has shown me, I want to show him. I won’t be another to ostracize someone who is broken and hurting. Not when eternity is on the line.