Stevie to his mates.
He had parents and relatives, a loving community who saw him grow up.
He was a good guy, great even, one of the best.
He was raised up, spoke the truth, performed great deeds.
He was opposed, lied about, went through a mockery of a trial…
Then they stoned him to death. Literally, a crowd of angry religious extremists threw stones at him, smashing him up, until he stopped moving.
Devout men buried him, and mourned him deeply. Acts 8:2
Glanced over by us as we shift our gaze towards the next gospel victory. Heroic to us, so far removed. But godly people were devastated.
They were cut up. Raw. They deeply missed their friend and they would have never forgotten him, the brutality and injustice of his death, or the ache they were left with.
Godly men were in pieces, and they were no less godly for it. Their mourning did not diminish their faith, hope and love – precisely the opposite.
Even the book of Acts is no victory stroll. Life under the sun is always touched by tragedy.
Mourn deeply, and feel no guilt for it.