Sunday, February 15, 2009

Broken Hearts

Southside Baptist Church in Warner Robins GA is a large one - at least when you compare it to other churches I have attended in my life. I would think there will be over 2,000 people in attendance on any given Sunday morning. The congregation is made up of folks from all walks of life and I think that is why I was attracted to it in the first place when we first moved here.

But in spite of the numbers and the diversity, the church is a close knit family for several reasons I won't go into here. But at least one of the reasons for the family atmosphere that has been brought to my attention lately is through the use of technology such as Facebook. To my knowledge, Jesus never mentioned Facebook in the scriptures but I’m sure he would have if the people in those days had access. Nowadays, church members regularly post wall messages to each other, post prayer concerns, browse pictures others have posted and basically get to know each other through the power of Facebook.

This weekend the close knit family at Southside took a hit. One of those hits that gets you right in the pit of your stomach when you are not sure if you are having trouble breathing or about to throw up.

Or both.

One of Southside’s finest young men, Ryan Kimes- Richardson, was killed in an automobile accident on Friday afternoon. He was only 19 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. Or so we thought.

Among those Ryan left behind are his wonderful parents, Joe and Felicia Richardson. Joe is a Lt. Colonel in the US Air Force. Felicia is one of the most gifted singers I have ever heard sing. They are people of great faith who have raised and are raising their children to be people of great faith.

Right now Joe and Felicia are being forced to depend on the faith of others, such as their friends and their church family at Southside, to get them through the most painful experience life can offer – the death of a precious child.

If you are a praying person, I would ask you to pray for the Richardson family. What better way could I use the technology of the internet than to get other folks in different parts of the United States and the world sharing someone else’s burden.

If you want to get connected to this special young man, go to Ryan's Facebook wall and read the comments his friends are leaving there. You may even want to post a message there of your own.

One of these days in the not so distant future, Joe and Felicia will read all the messages. Their tears will increase as they read every word.

But take it from this lifelong undertaker; God has a way of using our tears and the love and support of others to mend broken hearts.

And in spite of the Richardson's great faith and the certain knowledge that their son is now in heaven, the Richardson's hearts are broken on this Valentine weekend.

And my heart breaks with theirs.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to write about Ryan...we had the pleasure of meeting him when we lived in Warner Robins from 2000-2002.

Ryan is a person that one never forgets...he leaves such a positive memory for all that met him. We are all better people to have been touched by him. I am glad that he and his family were able to return to WR and their wonderful church. I know God's loving arms will comfort The Richardson family through your parish.

So many people around the world mourn the loss of such a fine young man.

Mary Alice said...

My son was a friend of Ryan's since the fifth grade. Today he flew down to be with Ryan's family and Ryan's church support them in their grief..and to be supported in celebrate Ryan's life and the faith we share in the life hereafter. Ryan was a wonderful person, who touched many with his generous spirit and his wonderful smile. His smile lights heaven now. We were blessed to have known him.

Alex Leipprandt said...

you were one of the most amazing guys to ever walk into my life. I dont think people realized how close you and I were, but I will never forget the things you said to me in our late night heart to hearts. You were the last person i would talk to at night, and the first when i woke up. we would work on poems and songs together, and ill never forget it. You always had my back, and you would have done anything for me. Thank you so much for being there through everything. I miss you so much, but i know you are in the most awesome place... im jealous. lol. You and I were suppose to go out with Kaleb and Casey and camp out that Friday night, who knew you would have ditched us for a better campsite. lol.
ps. i promise to let the boys take my hog huntin b/c i know you really wanted me to go.

I will be talking to you soon. I love you!

kalyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kalyn said...

The time that we spent together and apart, was without a doubt the most amazing of my life. We had our hard times, and anyone that knew us, knew that. Although things between us the last few months of your precious life weren't that great, we knew without a doubt that we loved eachother. I know that there will never be another "Kalyn and Ryan", I find a gret deal of peace in that. It's hard to believe tomorrow will be a month. I have the first dip can that I ever gave you and it stays in my purse. In this past month the only time that it has came out is only to show somebody :) That will ALWAYS be your's and daddy's thing. It's really weird that he had just realized why you would always call him everyday around 3:00 when we first started dating, you did't want to talk to him, you wanted to see if you had enough time to get to my house and out by the time he got home. I miss them days. Them days spent with you. I miss you dearly and sill have a hard time, but through it all God has never let me go. He has never let Mrs. Felicia and Mr. Joe go. Or the tons of other people that are missing you and believe me there are a lot. It's kinda funny how you aren't even her and still making me cry ;) You tend to be good at that but I wouldn't have traded them tears for anything.
I love you more than you ever knew.