Guest Post: Jamie Pierre and The Body of Christ at Work
[ This post is by Jayne Taylor, in honor of her loved nephew and in gratitude for the love of the body of Christ ]
+ + +
My 38 year-old nephew, Jamie Pierre, died this week in a tragic ski accident in Utah. He is mourned by his parents, a grandmother, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, a wife and a young son and young daughter, friends, his church and people all over the world who knew him, saw him, met him, read about him, worked with him, played with him, filmed him, followed him, loved him.
What I have witnessed in these last days is the marvelous way in which the body of Christ, the church, the faith groups, the friends and beyond have been at work.
As his aunt I received calls within 24 hours from dear friends who called expressing their sorrow for my nephew and my family. Tuesday night, while I was absent from my prayer community, prayers are offered up on the behalf of my family in the loss of my nephew Jamie–a person unknown to them. Wednesday morning bread is brought to me at church from a dear friend. “I want you to have this–for you and your family as you grieve the loss of your nephew.” Warm hugs and expressions of sympathy and offered prayers for me–the aunt—on the death of dear Jamie. Arms around me as I weep in worship, grieving for Jamie and his family. The body of Christ at work.
My daughter Julie receives calls from friends expressing their sorrow for her as she has now lost her cousin…one of sixteen. The body of Christ at work.
My 89 year old mom, the grandmother of Jamie, receives calls from friends and family “How are you Kate? Can I help you?’ Her son Jim and grandson Justin go to her apartment to speak of Jamie dying on the mountain, taken off the cliff by an avalanche. They spend an hour with her—it is the first of 21 grandchildren to die…. yet another loss for her, but a deep, young loss. Friends from church spend the day with her as she tries to understand and absorb this shocking news. They talk. They eat. They pray. They cry. The body of Christ at work.
Gathering people surround the home of my sister Pam and brother-in-law Gerard. People come. Food is brought. People stay. They talk. They walk. They pray. There is an understood quiet in their midst. Facebook messages and e-mails pour into their computers offering condolences and help. Love is felt like never before. The body of Christ at work.
Sister Naomi, who is manning the communications front for the family, hears from friends from the distant past. Prayers are offered. Conversations had. She is loved. She feels it like never before. The body of Christ at work.
Oh the fragrance of Christ. The sweet perfume-the aroma of the life-giving spirit of the living God in our midst. In the deep sorrow, in the deep understanding of loss, our Lord knows and goes. He is the prompter in the body to go and care and console and love. Now. Again later. In ways that can be understood by those prompted. “Go now and be my hands and feet. Go now and give your time, your skills, your love. Go now little body—go now in to the hurting places of the souls of these loved ones. Go now and demonstrate my love in the midst of this great human loss. I will be with you as you go. I will guide you as you go for such a time as this. The body of Christ at work.