When Tragedies become Encouraging Stories

I’m very blessed to work at a school where my faith is freely practiced and shared with my students. Every class period begins with me reading a Scripture passage and praying over the students. Sometimes, the Scripture stands alone. Other times, I tend to elaborate on a text to make it a little more personal for my scholars. Today, I was able to share a personal story with them.

I was going through my Bible looking for a passage of Scripture to share. I turned to Revelation and read the first seven verses of chapter 21. As I read them, I went back to a dreadful day in February 2014 when we lost Olivia Greenlee. I remembered the grief and pain that followed, and then how God’s faithfulness reigned supreme through it all. Dr. Dan Musselman was commissioned to compose a song for University Singers entitled No More Pain, a choral setting based on Revelation 21:1-7. It is an absolutely beautiful piece and you can listen to a recording it here.

Reading this passage of Scripture gave me the opportunity to tell the story of Olivia’s tragic death, but mostly, I elaborated on the faithfulness of God and our eternal hope that one day, “He will wipe every tear from [our] eyes.” It was a beautiful reminder that this world is not our home. Our treasures are stored up in heaven, where joy is everlasting. It was a joy to share this passage with the scholars in the hopes that they will find solace in the Word of God when pain/loss becomes personal.


I have such a great job.


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