Someone named Donny Hunt was at Madison’s funeral here at Central Monday. He had never met Madison or anyone in the Knebusch family. But one of his children goes to school with Londen, so Donny’s been getting regular facebook and email and dinner time updates on Madison’s condition for almost two years. So he was compelled by a mix, I think, of compassion and curiosity to attend Monday’s memorial service.
And it moved him. It taught him. And he wrote about it in a little article that’s making swift rounds throughout our church family.
The love that was shown during that Monday afternoon service, the faith that was expressed, the gratitude that was voiced, it all moved him. All these Christians — Mr. Hunt estimates a little over 500 people in our worship center; it was more like 1,200 — worshiping together during this very difficult time inspired him. He admits he rarely, if ever, attends any church services anywhere. But being here at Central Monday didn’t intimidate him at all. It moved him. Donny admits that, when facing death, we only really have what we believe. And if “believing in God makes your life more fulfilled, if it inspires you to be a better person, to give of yourself and leave the world a little better than you found it, how can it be bad?”
Donny writes that because of the love he witnessed and experienced here at Central on Monday, he realizes that faith in God is good.
Because of “the love in that church,” he says.
Donny also writes beautifully about Madison’s sweet spirit, her great courage, and the eternal impact she’s had on everyone who knew her. You can read the entire article by clicking here.
Donny experienced our God with us here at Central Monday. His experience moved him to seek our Lord, to consider his own relationship with this God he doesn’t totally understand. He’s searching now in a way that he wasn’t before Madison’s funeral. And Donny wasn’t moved closer to God by our particular doctrines or theological positions. He wasn’t inspired by our stance on baptism by immersion or our policies on church organizational structure. Donny’s heart wasn’t touched by our big worship center or the slick audio/video presentations. And he doesn’t care about our Restoration roots or our interpretations of 1 Corinthians 11.
It was “the love in that church” that grabbed him.
While she lived here with us, Madison taught us all many lessons. The day of her funeral reminded me of one of the more important ones.
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples; if you love one another.” ~John 13:35