WHILE WORKING ON AN ENTIRELY SEPARATE message this morning for our Wednesday's Word, those of us working in the church office heard a horrible sound that we first thought was simply the loud traffic that one experiences when located at the intersection of two major U.S. highways. Then we looked outside and saw there was a terrible accident involving a fuel tanker and a loaded pulpwood trailer, and both trucks had taken up residence in our church yard.

Thankfully, while each driver sustained injuries, no one suffered a fatal wound. As we understand it, each driver is getting treatment at Beauregard Memorial Hospital.

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Needless to say, it has been a most interesting few hours since 9:45, with traffic shut down in both directions and more than a few people looking on while more than a few people from our public safety agencies and the City of DeRidder street crews went about cleaning up this mess.


When looking over things with my friend Ken Harlow, DeRidder Fire Chief, towards the end of the cleanup process, something caught my eye, something that at first blush might be easily missed, but is most prominent in this last picture, which seems to be dominated by the now-demolished church sign.


Notice the simple wooden cross. Not a fancy one that draws attention, but one that is plain and unassuming, one that, if I had to bet, most of the literally thousands of cars that pass it everyday, have missed completely or acknowledged once or twice. 

This was, by all accounts, a major accident. While we thank God the fuel truck was not compromised, that neither driver lost their lives, the church building itself had only minor cosmetic damage that is hardly noticeable on the south side of the gym, a very old sign that needed to be replaced anyway was the most major damage to our property (along with a few floodlights), and that the yard damage will heal rather quickly, we thank God for the reminder that in the midst of all this we can say:

The Cross Still Stands.

Constantly present even when we so often do not give it a second thought, if we notice it at all, the cross of Christ serves as a solid reminder that no matter what human-made destruction might happen in its shadow, the cross stands as a beacon of hope.

Standing out there with Ken, I could not help but think of the pain and anguish so many are feeling right now within our connection and beyond our connection, no matter where one may stand on the issues before us, and be reminded once again that despite what may seem to be our best efforts, it can be said, "Yet the Cross Still Stands."

Friends, may we live as people who find strength in the cross, especially when we find ourselves in the midst of physical and/or emotional carnage, with much damage and pain dominating our every fiber. Why? 

Because the Cross Still Stands.

No matter where we are, physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally, may we find ourselves in the shadow of the cross that still stands. May it be so for us, our loved ones, our church, our community, our denomination, the church global and triumphant, and, especially in our hearts. Why?

Because the Cross Still Stands.

May we realize that the presence of the cross brings us a perspective that can come from nowhere else - not our physical, emotional, tribal, sexual, or other identities - but Christ. May we embody the glorious truth of the cross bearing witness to a love from God that knows no limitation, a love that is eternal and unchanging.

Grace and Peace, Lamar