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John Winters Columnist

Published Sunday, January 13, 2013

Does God cry?

Some columns are easy.

Living with the Little Black Dress and the SONs of Thunder, I am rarely without ammunition. Some times, it’s harder to decide which event to write about, whether than trying to come up with something.

Some columns are hard. 

Part of that is because this section of the paper is actually printed Wednesday afternoon. I turn it in that morning. The problem is life doesn’t stop. What seemed appropriate earlier in the week no longer is. Life goes on. And life throws stuff at you.

It’s like going to the grocery store on Monday and planning out the week’s meals. Come Thursday, you realize you really aren’t in the mood for meatloaf.

I am tired and drained. I am tired of hearing the coroner getting called out to an accident. And if I am, I can’t imagine the emotional impact on the men and women — first-responders — who are in the middle of it.

They are masters of their craft. To be able to actually remove a body — living or dead — from being trapped within a twisted heap of metal is a testament to their skill and passion.

Over the last couple of weeks, a 30-year-old father was killed when he lost control of his vehicle just down the Interstate from us. His wife and seven kids were also hurt. Two had to be flown by air ambulance to Atlanta hospitals.

This past weekend, an 18-year-old lost control, hit a tree and died after being airflighted to Atlanta. 

And then there is Abby, the nine-year-old who died in a two-car accident right before Christmas. Her father remains in an induced coma in Atlanta.

And the question always asked is “why God?”

There is not an easy answer. Entire books have tried to answer that very question. In the midst of ultimate tragedy, it is the question asked. And for many, it is never answered adequately.

And in times like this, the question I often ask is, “Does God cry?”

The most powerful scripture in the Bible is John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

On Christmas Day, little Abby had surgery. In the midst of this horrible event, her grieving mom, Natalie, made the most unselfish decision any parent can make. Abby’s organs were donated so others could live.

Abby’s aunt, Susan, summed it up perfectly. “God gave us his Son on Christmas to save us. Now Abby has the same chance to help others.”

I’ve been to, and led, a lot of Bible studies and retreats, and often times, to break the ice, we go around and everyone cites their favorite scripture.

I always select Exodus 23:19 - “Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”

I do that because, well The Dress says I can be ornery at times. And I do love the looks I get and how other guys will sort of push their chairs away from me. Talk about an ice breaker. And no, I don’t really get the whole point of that verse.

But in reality, the scripture that hits me the most is only two words, found in John 11:35 — “Jesus wept.”

For Christians, Jesus, the Son of God, was also the very essence of God in human form while on earth.  Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth to experience life as we know it. The great and the awful.

To answer my earlier question, if Jesus wept, then I know God weeps as well at times like this. And I know it is a sobbing unlike no other, one that can be experienced only by the Master and Creator of the universe.

And I know that weeping turned to insurmountable joy as little Abby came home. I say “home” because I do not believe this, as in Earth and our life on it, is home. We are here but a moment, when you consider life in terms of infinity.

God weeps.

And I take great comfort in that.

...................................

John A. Winters is a staff writer for The Newnan Times-Herald. You can reach him at john@newnan.com . His personal blog is at justflipthedog.com .

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  10. Obituary: Herbert Lee Emory, 61, of Douglasville, Georgia, passed away Saturday, April 12, 2014. He was born April 2, 1953 in Transylvania County, North Carolina, the son of Mrs. Joyce Sanders Emory and the late Mr. John Lee Emory. In 1971, he left his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and moved to Atlanta where he attended the Atlanta School of Broadcasting and National School of Broadcasting. He was a longtime WSB Radio and Channel 2 Action News traffic reporter, and was referred to as “Captain Herb.” He had been with WSB Radio and Channel 2 Action News since 1991. Captain Herb has served as an Atlanta traffic reporter since 1971. He previously was a News/Traffic reporter from 1978 through 1991 with WSNE (Cumming), WDGL (Douglasville), WFOM (Marietta), WACX (Austell), WQXI-AM, 94Q-Star 94, Georgia Network News. Over the years, he spent many hours a week in a helicopter hovering over metro Atlanta’s traffic and was known as a friend to the Atlanta commuters. He had a great love for radio, NASCAR and community involvement. He hosted more charity events than any other WSB personality, including hosting the annual Toys for Tots fundraiser at Fred’s Barbecue House, Lithia Springs. Captain Herb hosted and produced the WSB Speed Shop auto racing, with his wife, Karen, from 1993 until 2011. He has earned at least 15 First Place Awards, including two Green Eyeshades, for news and traffic reports from the Georgia Associated Press Assoc. and other media organizations. He served as President of the Georgia Associated Press Broadcasters Association (GAPBA) in 1990/91 and served on the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Board of Directors. He was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2008 and received the inaugural Excellence in Motorsports Journalism Award in 2012. He had a great love for Douglas County and was always willing to volunteer for community events, particularly those involving children, the military and veterans. He had a great respect for all First Responders across the nation and had a special friendship with members of the Douglas County Sheriff Department. He served on the Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park Board of Directors, and was a member of the Douglas County Animal Control Advisory Board. Captain Herb most recently emceed the homecoming for Olympic Medalist Elana Meyers and helped escort the "Remembering Our Fallen" exhibit with the American Legion Riders to the Douglas County Courthouse. He will be greatly missed by his family, coworkers, friends, neighbors and the community. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his son, Joseph Lee Emory his father-in-law, William Martinell; and uncle, Rev. Joseph Sanders. He is survived by his beloved wife of 24 years, Karen Emory of Douglasville; his mother, Joyce Sanders Emory of North Carolina; aunt, Doris C. Sanders of Florida; cousins, Loriane and John Lambert of Indiana and Debra Jo and Frank Bright of Florida, and J.J. Bright of Florida; mother-in-law, Joan Martinell of Newnan; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Lynn Wilson of Alpharetta, Patty and John Baker of Ft. Collins, CO, Robyn Adams of Senoia, and Bill and Sherry Martinell of Eugene, OR; five nephews, Ryan Wilson of Alpharetta, Russell and Kate Baker of Fort Collins, CO, Matthew Baker of Tampa, FL, Bryan Baker of Aspen, CO, and Patrick Baker of Denver, CO; one niece, Tayler Schnoor of Senoia; and adopted aunt, Geneva Gold of Newnan. Captain Herb’s impact was so eloquently stated by his colleague WSB’s Clark Howard: “He died of a heart attack, which is so ironic. This was a man who had more heart than anyone who I’ve ever had the privilege to know.” Anyone who had contact with Captain Herb, either in person or on the radio, will feel the loss of this great man. His family extended beyond his relatives especially to those members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and his WSB Family, who he loved so much. His love of his family, friends and community will live on in the hearts of all those who ever had contact with Captain Herb. The family will receive friends at Jones-Wynn Funeral Home in Douglasville Tuesday, April 15, from 3 until 5 p.m. and from 7 until 9 p.m. Private Family Memorial Services will be conducted. His WSB Family will conduct a Celebration and Memorial for the public at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Captain Herb Emory may be made to the Douglas County Animal Shelter, 8700 Hospital Drive, Douglasville, GA 30134 – http://www.eventbrite.com/e/donation-in-honor-and-memory-of-captain-herb-emory-registration-9364175501 or A Gift of Love Services, 3870 Longview Drive, Douglasville, GA 30135 –http://www.agiftofloveservices.org . Captain Herb would want everyone to keep a smile on your face and song in your heart. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.jones-wynn.com .
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