This is an entry from Pastor Melissa’s blog written before her son Christopher was found on May 4th, 2017 in the Mississippi River. I share it with all of you because Melissa’s faithfulness and ability to proclaim hope in Christ shines through her writing. Throughout all of her heart-break over Chris’s death Melissa keeps reaching out to people who do not

know God’s love and shares the good news. I invite you to follow her blog at Joanna Mitchell

April 30th, 2017
I was down at the river for a little while this morning. I don’t really look for Chris, but I just feel a little closer to him when I’m there. And I was thinking about everyone, including myself, praying for a miracle.
And then it came into my being that there are so many miracles already happening. The Mississippi is a vast river. It’s bold and beautiful. And it seems like looking for Chris there is a little like looking for a needle in a haystack. And the faith and dedication and hard work of these rescuers who don’t know us but who put their lives on the line to look for a mother’s son. That’s a miracle. And when they find him, however, they find him, that will be a miracle.

And I experience the love and support of my friends and family as a miracle, too. I am in so much deep pain and sorrow right now. All of our family is. And so are our close friends and our colleagues and our churches and our friends from around the world and people we don’t even know but who feel a mother’s and a family’s love, and those who have lost a child and who show me the grace, courage and strength to walk along with me. These are all miracles.

And Chris’s friend Mickayla had reminded me that Chris’s favorite Bible story is about Jesus calming the storm because he got to tell that story to his dad when he suffered a massive stroke and we didn’t know whether he would survive. And Chris told him that no matter what happened, Jesus is with him and he will never be alone, even when he feels like he is. And some of Chris’s friends are religious, others not, but many now have tattoos that Chris was talking about getting of a boat and some of them have written, “You are not alone” because that is what that story means to Chris. And getting to share this story and this faith with so many of his friends, that’s a miracle, too.

And then I was thinking about our worship at Tapestry today. Even though others will lead worship, I of course am thinking through logistics. And it occurred to me that the profile picture I posted after Easter Sunday is a picture of the bread and wine. And the communion cups we use are cups that Chris made in his pottery class in high school. He was so proud of them, and so am I. And we get to share the love and forgiveness of Jesus every week using these beautiful cups that Chris made. And that’s a miracle.

And I think of Tapestry, my community of faith. Martha is has been cooking with us and for us for the last couple of years now, and she often makes food for my family. She always makes sure to make something vegetarian for Chris. And salsas, too. And he loves her cooking, especially the chilaquiles. And Evelia reminded me that Chris told us he takes his dates for Mexican food at Adelita’s and Sarah wrote a poem and Linda is always there for me and Josue and so many others. And they walk with me in this and I know their hearts are broken, too. They’ve gotten to know Chris and they love him, too, just as I love their children. We’ve walked together in this little, impactful ministry for a little more than two years now, and we’re building bridges and crossing them with people who are different from each other. And this is a miracle.

As you continue to pray for miracles, please know that many have already happened. And they continue to happen. You are not alone.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

~Pastor Melissa Melnick

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