Amanda Prewitt Doss along with her two children were killed recently. The killer set fire to the house after fact in what I'm guessing was an attempt to conceal his crime. This is a tragedy in any sense of the word. Whatever Amanda had done in her life she did not deserve to have her life brutally taken from her in that way.
I'm writing about this because I knew Amanda. She was a member of our youth ministry at FBC Redwater, TX in the late 1980's. Amanda was very bright and well spoken. Quick witted and inquisitive, Amanda kept me on my toes. She made me laugh.
My fondest memory of Amanda will always be the love acceptance she extended to another teenager when he first came to church. The young man had a bad reputation, but that didn't stop Amanda from placing his name on our youth prayer list. No one was more surprised than I was when the young man came to our revival services a short time later. I was on the platform when he came in. Amanda looked back and moved to go sit with him. She walked with him down the aisle that night when he came to confess his new found faith in Jesus.
I regret that I fell out of touch with Amanda in the years that followed. I'm sure her life was filled with the struggles that plague us all, but if I knew Amanda she found a way to make her life and the lives of those around her better. She wasn't perfect, but she had that way about her.
The world is a dangerous place. Terrorists ply their trade with deadly effectiveness. Natural disasters remind us that we are not as in control as we'd like to think. Everyday is filled with dangers and trouble. It's enough to make you lock yourself behind barred windows and high fences.
But I choose not to.
I believe that God is truly in control of all things. I accept that all these happenings are a part of His greater plan and purposes. I may not understand the "why" but I do believe that there is a purpose being played out. I also know from personal experience that He is with those who grieve and mourn and weep. Amanda told me how she came to faith in Jesus all those years ago and I hold to that confession for the hope that I will one day see her again.
Amanda has exchanged this flawed, imperfect world for the presence of God.