This evening we went to a prayer service at church for Pastor Bryan Koch and his family. The building was full, all the seats taken and overflow seating filled in the older sanctuary of the building. We listened to friends and colleagues of Bryan offer up stories and prayers. Scott Kramer told us that he grabbed Bryan’s left hand, the throwing arm of the former major league catcher, and squeezed it hard. When he did this, Bryan opened his eyes.
Greg Hubbard, evangelist at GT, delivered a word about being a faith responder, one who talks differently, sees things differently, and reflects the presence of God. The room was emotional, more than a thousand people in a family gathering of prayer and worship. As a church, we will keep moving forward.
As a writer, I’ve changed. The filters are gone. This is about you and me, about words and life and faith.
I thought I had the story figured out. I was wrong. This is a story about unity, about faith in times of darkness. This is about a community overcoming tragedy and having hope. This is thanking God in all things, keeping focused on Jesus when everything else tells you to look away.
When I interviewed Bryan for the book he was warm, gracious, attentive and caring. He gave me more time than I asked for. He was forthcoming in his words and genuine in his spirit. He hugged me after our interview and offered to check in with me in the future.
I’m taking him up on it.
The day he walks across the stage at church to preach again is one I will not miss.
In the end, this is about victory. It is about family and using darkness to show the million-watt brightness of God’s love. So tonight I’m praying, carrying home the closeness of the Spirit, for anyone reading this. If you are in a dark place, know you are not alone. If you are suffering, it is not wasted.
Know I’m here for you. My family, brothers and sisters in Christ, are here for you. God is here for you. Things can and will change. The future is coming and we must respond.
There is no choice. Join me and be a #faithresponder
You can see news coverage of Pastor Bryan’s story by clicking here.