"Peace Be With You" Blog by Don & Suzy Proctor
"Peace be with you.” Over the many years at Pine Ridge, we have said this probably thousands of times. I don't think we fully under-stood the significance of this phrase. Mostly we were saying it to friends we hadn't seen all week or first-time visitors.
That all changed for us on November 11, 2019. That is when our 19-year-old son, Spencer, died while playing with a gun at work with his friends. That night and the next day was filled with phone calls, emails, texts and Facebook messages and starting to plan a funeral. The next day our washer stopped working. Wednesday we were out buying a new washer. Peace seemed far away. Friday was the visitation and the day our new washer arrived. The delivery man asked me how my day was going? At that point our peace seemed to be in pieces all over the ground.
We were amazed at the turnout at the visitation over a thousand people snaked through the church, waiting in line. Suzy said after-wards "my arms hurt from hugging so much" and "I have never felt closer to heaven.” Pine Ridge was everywhere that night and through a packed funeral the next day. We cannot comprehend how a family can go through something like this and not have a fantastic church walking with them all the way.
We have wanted to say a proper thank you to everyone at Pine Ridge. Jim and Buzzy were amazing, but so were the many people we don't even know about who did so much for us. We agreed with Jim on the next day during his sermon: “I have never been so proud of this church than I am this morning. The last week since Spencer died, so senselessly. I have seen the best, and I hope you have too, of who we are as church."
"Peace be with you" now means more. I know we are not alone in going through horrific tragedies, so many of you will understand the real Peace of Christ when you need it the most.
The two years since Spencer's death have shown us all over the world how unpredictable life can be. We miss the in person worshipping at Pine Ridge, but we also know Pine Ridge is right there ready to provide Peace, peace enough to share. The Proctor family will never forget how Pine Ridge came through at our lowest mo-ment and continues to support us to this day.
When we get back to in person church "passing the peace" will mean more and I will think of Spencer and the fantastic people of Pine Ridge every time.