It all started for me a few of weeks ago when a good friend of mine’s sister was taken to the hospital, not feeling well, and then four days later died. I didn’t know her, as she lived in New York, but I knew her brother well. For years we were great friends who spent a lot of time together and I saw what admiration he had for her singing, dancing and acting talents. I can tell by the posts on his facebook account that he is taking the loss very hard. Then along came Kevin Ward, Jr.’s tragic death on the race track. I didn’t know him either, nor Tony Stewart. Stewart’s reputation precedes him and that’ s all I know. I can only imagine what the Ward and Stewart families are feeling. It’s gut wrenching. On the streets of Ferguson, Mo, an 18 year old teen, who is about to start college, is killed in a strange incident by a white cop. I didn’t know either one of them either. But my heart cries out for both the Michael Brown family and the cop who will never forget that night for the rest of his life. Riots and looting start and continue for days, is the way some have reacted to that tragedy. I’ll bet I have seen Good Morning Vietnam movie a dozen times if not more. I loved it. Robin Williams made me laugh out loud, a lot. He made all of us laugh, a lot, while he was crying on the inside. I only knew him through his talent as an actor and a comedian. He was good. Real good. My heart bleeds for his family, and I have had some first hand knowledge of that kind of sudden death. I can imagine what they are going through. Finally two nights ago a pastor friend called me and told me that one of my Sunday school members great granddaughter, aged 16, was killed in a automobile accident, while alone in her car. I had met her once last summer when she visited with her great grandmother in our Sunday school class. Quiet young lady, dearly loved by her great grandmother and vice versus. A shocking loss for her great grandmother and the whole family. What did they all have in common. SUDDEN DEATH. And for me I barely knew them, only by reputation, and the talents they expressed. So why does my heart bleed for them? Why does all of their deaths turn my stomach inside out? Does it do the same for you? I know many of us are asking why? Some of us are even adding the word God to that question. Why God, why now, why so suddenly, why so young, why so innocent, why, why, why? The second question I asked myself was, what do I say to my friend and to the great grandmother in my class. There are no good words. Sorry God but I don’t think You did a very good job of equipping us for handling sudden death. Years ago when I went through Chaplaincy training at a local hospital I was taught that you never say “I know how you feel” to those that are grieving. Because you don’t know. Each situation and relationship is so different that it is impossible to know how someone feels. But I know how I feel today. I am sick inside for all those sudden deaths. I hurt for the families, all of them, without even knowing them. My guess is I am not alone in that feeling. Why is that? Why do we feel that way? That is about the time my faith kicks in. We feel that way because God gave us a heart and the emotions that go with it. We cry because God cries, as we are created in the image of God. We hurt inside because God hurts inside when sudden death happens. He made us with the emotions to feel compassion, to love, to reach out to those who are hurting in such times. I don’t think God wants us to feel bad but He wants us to have the capacity to reach out to those who are suffering. The hundreds of thousands in the middle east who are suffering need our help and our prayers. We often feel when there is a sudden death of a friend that we wished we had said something more to them, like how much the meant to us, or how much we loved them, or how much impact they had on our lives. We sudden death occurs we wish we had done or said more. Maybe God wants us to learn to share our love and our feelings more often through action and words. We don’t know know the why answer but we might know the what answer. The what should we be doing now answer. We have a poster that might give us a clue to the what now answer. It’ pretty simple.