How do you go on when your whole world quite literally blows up in a second? When Shawn Maguire woke up one morning last September to make himself a cup of coffee while his wife and two children slept, he never could have imagined that pushing a button on a coffee maker would cause a massive explosion. That explosion completely flattened his house and instantly killed Berklee, his 14 year old daughter. People actually said that it was a miracle that the rest of the family was able to survive at all. The explosion was so powerful that neighbors had severe damage to their own homes. Insulation fell from the sky for days. The house was gone.
Even though there was thankfulness that God protected Shawn and his wife and son, Shawn’s heart wept and still weeps for the loss of Berklee. He says that the best parts of both he and his wife lived in her. He desperately cried out for God to bring her back to him. He questioned why the rest of them were saved while Berklee was not. There is so much pain, both physically from the injuries due to the explosion and emotionally, from the tremendous loss of Berklee.
Shawn’s story is certainly a difficult one to hear, but his pain resonates with so many of us. His safe little world was destroyed that day. The biggest lesson that I learn from Shawn is his willingness to receive help from others. When you have absolutely nothing, not even the clothes on your back, you are truly humbled and need to receive help from other people. You are really forced to let others be ‘Christ’s hands and feet’ for you in ways that you would not think possible.
Shawn has truly witnessed the goodness of others through this tragedy. People go out of their way to help them – from getting a place for the family to live, to putting them on their cell phone plan to sitting beside Shawn while he weeps for Berklee. We can all learn from Shawn in this way. We may not have lost all of our belongings when our child died, but that does not mean that we should not allow others to help us. Let them do those errands. Let them bring a meal. Allowing others to help blesses us and blesses them as well.