On a Day Like Today


Today marks the sad anniversary of Isaac Hunter’s passing, and I have received some very kind texts from folks as well as “the Look” from my friends and coworkers. The Look I speak of is the one that is trying to gauge my emotional state, asking the questions, “Is he OK? Do I need to tread lightly?” The truth is, I have always been a fairly low-maintenance friend, and Isaac and I always had the type of friendship that didn’t suffer in absence and resumed quite easily when we were present again. That, I don’t think, has changed all that much in the midst of all that has changed. I miss my friend, but I don’t worry that our friendship won’t resume when we are in heaven together. Rather, I enjoy the fact that Isaac is now more Isaac than he ever was here, even when he was at his best. And while we still carry the pain of his sinful decisions, I am glad that Isaac is free of the lies the enemy would have had him believe because of those decisions. I do grieve for his family though. I don’t expect his absence is felt for them with the same ease as it is for a friend who has the luxury of looking forward to the future without the same loss in the present.

I told a friend this morning that I feel a bit bad about being OK today. But I can’t help but be glad for Isaac and at the same time very excited about what God is doing at Summit, even while still emerging from the shadow of the last two years. This weekend I had the chance to spend Sunday at our Waterford campus and had recurring pictures of what God is doing in this place.

I saw a friend bring two very unlikely guests to church for the first time and spied on them as they couldn’t help but enjoy the service.

I met with a young man who, though opposed to church and Christianity, is a big fan of Summit because he sees something here that is different. He doesn’t fault us for being a church, because he sees that we care about the world around us.

I met a woman who came to Summit two years ago when her life was a mess. Summit was the only place she felt like it was OK to be a mess, because everything here was a mess. She told me with great enthusiasm that God has used Summit to save her life and that everything has changed for her over the last two years.

I prayed with a young man who feels like God is calling him out of a dark season and that he is supposed to have faith, but he doesn’t know what that looks like. He comes to Summit because he believes this is where he can learn what faith means.

With all of those stories of transformation I have seen and the hundreds more that are being written, I cannot help but be at least OK on a day like today. I am grateful for what Isaac did to make Summit what it is today, and I wish he could still be a part of it now. Yet I am gently reminded of the reality that this has always been God’s church, and His grace has been made perfect (and exceedingly apparent) in our weakness.


InsightsJohn Parker