Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mistaken Identities -- and the untold story of faith

If you've been awake at all this weekend, you've heard the sad story of mistaken identity. A number of Taylor University students were in a automobile accident, including Whitney Cerak and Laura VanRyn -- Whitney was presumed dead and Laura was presumed to be seriously injured and recovering in the hospital. Then, five weeks after the accident and Whitney's funeral (attended by 1,400 people) -- the coroner discovered a mistake. The girl in the hospital was Whitney, and the deceased girl was Laura.

The media has jumped on this story as a sad case of mistaken identity that has caused nothing but pain. See the USA today articles on the Mix up and on the ongoing investigation into the problems.

However, there is more to the story than the media is picking up. This is a powerful story of compassion, faith, and acceptance of suffering. Both the Cerak and the VanRyn families are solid christians. Check out this week's archive from the VanRyn's family blog. Notice that the VanRyn family has continued to surround Whitney with love and support. They continue to look to the scriptures for hope and comfort during what is a hellish time. Take a look at Lisa VanRyn's post from June 1 - the day after she and her family found out about the mix up -- she quotes Psalm 18 and then writes "This is our prayer this morning, as we continue to trust Jesus Christ our Savior. He is there for all of us and for you. God's Word is sufficient, no matter what your circumstance." -- the over 500 comments on the site show that this story has profoundly affected people all over the world.

Please, visit the VanRyn's blog and reflect on their faith in the midst of terrible suffering. Pray for their continued strength through their trial.

Soli Deo Gloria