Sunday, May 6, 2012

So Long...Superman

I write this at the end of an unprecedented week of sadness, anguish and heartbreak over the tragic passing of Junior Seau, who was a close personal friend, and a friend to many at New Venture.
Wednesday morning, I received a phone call from the Coroner’s office informing me of his tragic end and asking if I could quickly drive to his home and break the news to his parents before they were informed by the media. When I arrived – it was obviously too late, as the street was cordoned off with hundreds already gathered, helicopters flying overhead and media from everywhere arriving in news vans.

The most important act you can do in a moment this intense and heartbreaking – is to pray. I sensed God’s strong nudging to graciously but firmly call everyone to gather hands, bow and PRAY. The Seau family is a spiritual family, they understand where the Source of their comfort and strength comes from, and they all found it in that moment, as the “God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3) supplied it, in the midst of unspeakable despair.
As the saddened crowd of family, police, and emergency workers quietly bowed their heads, I read out loud the 23rd Psalm, followed by the respectful, hurting throng making their way to say “So-long” to their “Superman.”

The world witnessed the anguish and tears of a broken mother, as she took to the microphone and cried out to God for her son, whose body was inside with the authorities. That moment began an avalanche of calls from TV, print and radio – as the world searched for answers to “how could this happen?” – untold hours of being a quiet support to family, speaking with Junior’s beautiful children about love, loss & longing, dealing with funeral plans and much, much more. If it wasn’t for New Venture’s Great Week of Prayer, and the support of a church family like you and all the wonderful people that make up NVCF, I have no doubt that I, and more importantly the Seau family, could not have been sustained through this incredibly trying week.

Through all the pain, I am most grateful that we at New Venture have been able to be a voice and a comfort for this entire city – and beyond, as God’s words of comfort have gone out over the airwaves here and across the nation. I have been contacted and/or interviewed, by personalities as diverse as Piers Morgan, Dr. Phil, Geraldo, ESPN and brain specialists from La Jolla to London. Tomorrow morning, Saturday, the TV interviews continue again bright and early – and every one is a chance to speak of Jesus Christ.

A noted pastor prayed for me the day I wrote this, that God would use all of this to “touch America.” I am aware that a prayer like that is only answered when a group of people believe that God works miracles when people pray. Without a doubt, “the devil has meant this for evil, but God means it for good” (Gen. 50:20). We can’t bring Junior back, a man who was an extraordinary athlete, and exceptional person. However, I’m so glad that Jesus Christ promises to “never leave us nor forsake us” (Heb. 13:5).

Whenever you read this, would you remember to keep the Seau family and Junior’s children in your prayers? They need them during this very difficult time -- but the need for prayer will also never go away. At New Venture, we spent the first weekend after this tragedy talking about God's strength “In The Midst Of Life’s Storms.” It's something we can continue to do: Celebrate LIFE, and the One who died – so that we wouldn’t have to. Ever.

I pray you're trusting Him through whatever your circumstances -- and if you're hurting...reach out. God can make a way.
Many blessings on you.
Your friend,


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  2. Junior will be deeply missed !! It is so sad a man with so much love for all and for the Lord to feel so lost that he could not think of another way out !!! He was an inspiration to me I heard his testimony at a Easter sunrise service many years ago I think it was 2001 or 2002 or even 1999 !! I was in the depth of my addiction to meth and the Lord used him to touch my heart and I started to attend New Venture !!! Junior was also the last conversion I had with my earthly father before the Lord called him home !!! I have a deep love for Junior and always will he was a Super Man !! and will always be a Hero !!! Thank you as well Pastor Shawn for the Lords leading that you had in my life and where the Lord has put me today !!! With much love your Brother in Christ Jesus Matthew D. Noreen

  3. Pastor Shawn, thank you for being their for the Seau family and expressing the love so many of us had toward Jr to the precious Seau family. God bless you for your service.
    Pam Farrel

  4. Matthew, what a great note. Really appreciate what you shared. You are prayed for! God bless.

  5. Thanks Pam. Still praying for them. It's after the fact, when all the "support" stops, they may need it the most. God bless you.