Our pastors who serve faithfully in Alaska are exposed to the same risks facing all Alaskans. Several years ago Pastor Tori Hicks and her family were involved in a serious auto accident. Tori still feels the effects today. On Sunday Pastor Ron Myers of First UMC, Anchorage, was transporting a homeless couple to Girdwood (30 miles from Anchorage) in snowy, slushy weather. Another car lost control and slammed into Ron's car. Ron had to be extricated and taken to Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage where he is being treated for a dislocated left hip, broken right femur, and shattered right knee. Doctors say he will be in the hospital for two weeks and won't return to work for three months.
These are major depth events that carry their own intrinsic meanings that those who experience them will spend the rest of their lives pondering its meaning. When I walked into MatSu Regional Hospital years ago Robert Hicks was visibly shaken and said to me, "I almost lost my family today."
When I walked into Alaska Regional Hospital yesterday Ron was somber as he shared what had happened to him. He said, "I am so grateful to be alive."
We are tempted to impose meanings onto the depth experiences of life. Sometimes we impose meanings on our own experiences. Sometimes we allow others to impose meanings onto our experiences. But such traumatic experiences suffered by Tori and Ron have their own intrinsic meaning when they are given space and time to contemplate them.
Tori was on her way to lead worship when her accident happened. Ron was helping a couple get home.
As you move forward with your lives and ministry in this great land of Alaska please be safe. Breathe deeply the breath of God today. Let go of your anger. Let the Advent peace of the Christ Child surround you. Continue to take the risks of being a disciple of Christ.