The story of Timothy Bosma is stuck in my heart.

I didn’t know him. I did however grow up amongst the Dutch (though my last name was Grant- far from Dutch!) and experienced the very tight-knit community they share first hand. I also know people who knew Tim. I suppose this made me feel a little connected, though I am sure I would have felt this tragedy regardless.

I watched the footage of Tim’s widow speaking at the funeral. Her acknowledgement that people are suggesting Tim had some prior connection to the murderer(s) or that he made a stupid mistake getting into the truck was, in my opinion, brave. She went on to say that such comments are born out of fear: fear that if this could happen to a “regular” guy, doing a “regular” thing  it could happen to anyone.

I agree with her.

The truth is, horrible things happen. Every day. Much of the time these things happen far enough away that we can, for better or worse, remain detached. Sometimes though they happen in our neighbourhood, or on our street, or in our very own homes. It is during these times that we come alive to the challenge and frailty of life. Grief knocks on our door and makes itself comfortable, making us completely uncomfortable in the process. When tragedies happen to me I become much more attuned to the weeping and gnashing of teeth in those places that previously felt so far away.

I don’t know why this happened to Tim. I don’t know what could have happened in the life of whoever did this that made such an act possible. What I do know is the amazing beauty evident in the way the Bosma family and their community have responded to this. They have modeled compassion, gratitude, faith and togetherness. In the midst of the unthinkable they have clung to one another and the God who promises so much more than this messed up world.

Sharlene Bosma has described herself as “broken”. May she, may we all, be one day made complete.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

-from Psalm 23