Jan 22, 2008

Deepest Sympathies to Rick Burgess and Family

I want to send out my deepest regrets to Rick Burgess, his family, and the entire Rick and Bubba Show crew. If you haven't heard, Rick's youngest son Bronner (Cornbread) drowned in a terrible accident Saturday evening. His memorial was today in Birmingham and I heard that Rick did an outstanding job of presenting the gospel. I have been a fan of the show and the stand they take for the Kingdom of God for several years now. I had the privilege of having Rick speak at an Upward Basketball Awards Night several years ago and got to meet him then. Since that time, God has used him in massive ways to advance the message of the gospel.

I have also had the opportunity to get to know Calvin "Speedy" Wilburn in recent months. Besides being a fellow MSU fan, Speedy has faithfully led his family in being a Christ-following home this past year. I know that this week has been very hard on him.

I first received the news by e-mail late Saturday and was deeply impacted. Not because I am somehow close friends with Rick. I don't think he would really know me. I was impacted for two reasons. First, when you listen to someone as much as I have Rick and Bubba, you develop a kindred heart with them. Seeing Rick's suffering has caused me and my family to have a deep pain in our hearts for him and his family. I know this sentiment was shared by many others in our church on Sunday morning. Many people who have never met Rick wept openly upon hearing the news. That is the power of the Body of Christ.

Another reason the news impacted me so greatly is because having some harm befall one of my children is the greatest fear of my life. I have recurring nightmares that something has happened to one of them that is beyond my control. I have been stunned awake many nights and had to get up and check on them. There is nothing in this world more important to me than my family and especially my boys. I consider myself to be an overly blessed man with three of the most incredible blessings God could have given me.

Don't get me wrong - they are typical boys. I have to get my belt out more than I want to. I wish they would eat more vegetables and less potato chips. However, I'll buy more chips if it will help keep them around longer. It's times like these that the battles you have to fight as a parent don't always seem as important.

I cannot imagine having to receive the news that Rick Burgess did last Saturday night - especially being 4 1/2 hours away! What a helpless and distressing feeling. I heard today though how he handled it with grace and dignity. God is comforting Rick and his family right now through their family, friends, and the Body of Christ. I know that Yahweh will use this to glorify himself through their suffering. He already has. By the way, he knows what's it's like to have a child die.

Now I have to go give my kids another kiss.


The Parks Family said...
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The Parks Family said...

Amen, brother. Tragedy always serves to put many things in perspective. This one has hit home harder than any other I can remember. Words alone cannot express how bad I am hurting for Rick and Sherri. I, like you, don't know them personally. But, I also feel that kindred spirit with all of the show crew because of their very public stand for Jesus.
BUT, we all owe God so much praise and glory for the way he has used this touch so many people. I have been jerked up in the last 48 hours and shaken like a rag doll. I have so much more work to do in my life.

Praise God for the life of Bronner Burgess. Though I pray I never have to endure the pain of losing a child, I'm praying harder that God will guide me so that I can develop the strength in Him that is being displayed by the Burgess family right now.

Thanks for posting this.