Life Can Be Cruel

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by Martin Schlomer

I just received a deeply emotional call from my son, Wesley. This morning one of his best friends, Woody Moore, died unexpectedly from respiratory failure. He was a young, intelligent, energetic, and passionate lover of Jesus. No one saw it coming because this never should have happened! Life can be cruel!

I would love to believe that young, intelligent, energetic, and passionate lovers of Jesus are exempt from the cruelty of life, but I can’t, because we aren’t. While I see this truth time and again in the stories of Scripture, I still want to believe that perhaps there may be exceptions for young, intelligent, energetic, and passionate followers of Jesus. However, these phone calls slap me and shout, “There are no exceptions.” Honestly, people have a tough time understanding and are compelled to ask, “Why aren’t there exceptions?” Life can be cruel!

As I write these words, I mourn for my son, his Christian community, and for Woody’s family. They are overwhelmed with emotions and plagued with questions for which there seems to be no adequate answers. Paul’s words echo through my own soul: “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan … as a foretaste of future glory” (Romans 8:22-23a). The cruelty of this life, the questions, and the emotions create a hunger, an intense longing for a time when you and I will no longer have to put up with all the evil, sin, brokenness, suffering, and death of this life.

Folks, there is an ache within my soul that cries out, “This world is not our home!” Life is cruel, BUT God is good! He brings glorious beauty and redemption out of life’s cruelty! I can’t predict how this might happen or what it might look like in this or any other situation, but He does it nonetheless. He promised and I choose to believe Him! This is my prayer for Woody’s family, for the community of faith at Western Washington University, as well as for Christ the King Church, where Woody was so involved. God, may everyone see and experience Jesus in ways that exceed our wildest dreams!

Who was Woody Moore? Here are some posts from his friends on his Facebook page. At 21 years old, his legacy will live on.

A status can’t measure up to how much I love and will miss this brother of mine. Woody Moore has been nothing but a blessing to me as well as to others. He was a roommate, a friend and a brother. Everything he did, he did out of love. The way he lived was proof that Jesus is real. His overflowing joy and ability to make everyone smile is something I’ll miss every single day. Being there with him in his final moments was heartbreaking but also comforting because I know, without a doubt, that he is in a better place right now. I love you Woody. I’ll see you soon brother.
P.s. we were suppose to find our wives this year bro.

My heart is heavy today, my brother in Christ, the young man of God that helped bring me out of the darkest time in my life when I thought it better to not live anymore, and who helped lead me to the cross, has gone to be with Jesus. Woody Moore I love you brother and cannot wait till I see you again.

Lived for Christ, living with Christ. Woody Moore

This man changed my life. Woody pushed me, encouraged me, and loved me so well. You will always be loved and missed. Thanks for changing this world.

What a man Woody Moore was! Never met with such zeal, and willingness to go out of his way for others. He was a great friend, and truly embodied Romans 12:1
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Today is a difficult day. This Facebook post could never express how incredible Woody Moore is. You were the best roommate, friend, and brother I could ever ask for. It was a privilege to live life with you these last couple years. You are a true example of Jesus on Earth and the only joy I have is knowing, without a doubt, that you are with God. I cannot thank you enough for the impact you had on my life and for the example you were to so many people. You are one of the funniest, most loving people I have ever met and I know anyone who came in contact with you feels the same way. I can’t wait to see you again Woody, thanks for allowing me to be a part of your life. Through everything, God is good. Miss you and love you forever brother.

I still cannot believe that this is real … I’m going to miss all the laughter that was still to be had! Woody knew how to brighten anyone’s day with a love that was so incredibly sincere! But mostly, I’m going to miss this wonderful man of God! He knew his Savior so intimately and stood for what he knew in his heart to be true. It hurts to know that for the time being, he’s gone, but I find joy knowing that Woody is home, bringing smiles to all those who are with him. My heart aches for the Moore family, the friends he loved on, and those who didn’t get to know this amazing servant of Christ. Woody, thank you for touching all of the lives that you did, for impacting me! It’s clear that so many folks have been touched by your many gifts and that God’s incredible glory shines through all that you are! You’re work on Earth is done, and I know the Lord said to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” I love you man, and I will miss you until the day we meet again!

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3 thoughts on “Life Can Be Cruel

  1. Great article Martin, thanks for taking the time to share it. It sounds like Woody lived his life the way we are all asked to live our lives…I’m glad Wesley took the time to share his story with you too.

  2. I was very impressed as I read about Woody and the impact that he had on the lives around him, including your son. You’re right, it doesn’t seem fair at all.

    But I do know that we can trust God and rejoice that He is good. Just as He turned the world’s greatest tragedy, the Cross, into the world’s greatest good, so he will do with all tragedies that seem beyond our comprehension.

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