April 2, 2021 – the twelve year anniversary of Randy’s death and Good Friday.
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” – John 12:24 ESV
I planned all week to write this great post and talk about John 12:24. Eight years ago, God showed me some things on Good Friday and I wanted to write a post that would share that with you in a well-written, put-together story. But I have to be honest. The words aren’t coming today. So, I decided just to share my journal entry from that Good Friday in 2013…
When I got to church on Good Friday, Mark (our pastor) was explaining how the night was gonna go. Then he started with “I guess most of y’all remember Sgt Michael York.” He goes on to explain something about this guy being an excellent shot or something. Then he said “He was an accidental hero. He was just going about his everyday duties & became a hero…” Then he explains that Jesus wasn’t an accidental hero. That he chose to step into harms way and protect us.
So, no matter how hard I tried, everything he was saying was reminding me of Randy. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t compare police officers to Jesus but everything Mark said just fit them. He even did the whole thing of “I think if any of us knew we were headed into danger & death, even if it was inevitable, we’d be headed to the back of the line or something.” And my thought was, no. Randy & every officer I know is heading straight into it to protect the rest of us.
I kept feeling guilty about the fact that I couldn’t stop comparing what he was saying about Jesus to Randy. I prayed that God would make the differences clear. And He did, sort of. Basically, Jesus could’ve stopped the whole thing. Even though Randy might’ve been able to avoid it by not going to the chase, etc. he couldn’t have stopped the man who killed him or anyone else.
But, then one of the songs got me. It said something about the nails piercing His hands & us being the ones hammering them in. Here’s what popped in my head… “You are just like Randy’s murderer.” God was showing me that I am to Jesus what Randy’s murderer was to Randy. And God was like me—the loved one sitting by hurting as someone he loved was murdered. This shed a whole new light on the gravity of my sin and was really hard for me to deal with. Yet because of how God has helped me to forgive the man who killed Randy, it’s as if I was able to be ok with it because I understood forgiveness.
Then, I thought of something else. When Randy worked in Alvarado, there was a guy that was either drunk or high who was driving the wrong way down I35. He crashed into an 18 wheeler & it burst into flames. The cab of the 18 wheeler was fully engulfed. But the guy that had caused the whole thing was trapped in his car underneath the trailer. Randy didn’t hesitate to risk his life to hook chains up to that car to get it pulled out & save the criminal’s life. The entire time he was working with the chains, tires were exploding & the fire was dangerously close to the semi’s gas tanks, but he did it anyway. Even though he thought the guy he was trying to safe had killed an innocent person & he could also die in the process. Long story short (ok not really) but I realized Jesus was the same way on the cross except He knew He would die an excruciating death. He was dying for the “bad guys (and girls)” yet he did it anyway.
So I’m sure it’s still not good to compare Randy to Jesus (for obvious reasons), but I think God used it to make a point tonight.
Now that I think about it, it’s kind of cool that God used Randy’s death to make those points tonight. Kind of like He twisted what the devil was trying to do & turned it into something good. And I just got chills as I typed that last part cause that’s been my prayer for 4 yrs, for God to turn the bad (and evil) of Randy’s death into good. After typing that, I felt like it was Him just assuring me again that He would make good come out of it. 🙂