My best friend, and roommate, was Raven Buckley. We grew up together and lived together since college. Both were raised as Christians, but only in later years had I begun to change my life for God. I wanted to continue my education in Seminary, but did not decide to accept God’s calling until April 25, 2008. I made my decision to follow Christ at Liberty and sent in my application at 1:32pm. 120 minutes later, Raven was shot in the head and killed at 26.
The days that ensued after her death, secrets emerged and her undisclosed life was exposed. She was hurting and had been for months. She had been struggling and searching for a deeper relationship with God. I do know that prior to her death, even if only days, she recommitted her life to Christ. Do I know this because as best friends we discussed our spiritual beliefs and welfare? Do I know this because I walked the 10 feet to her door to tell her about the blessings I was receiving in life? No. I know this because her mother told me the day of her funeral while she lay in a casket and I shed tears of repentance.
“Speak out when you know that God is speaking through you”.
When I think back, I do remember acting in a manner that reflected Christ. I was making faithful decisions. I was, openly, spending time in the Word. I had changed the way I represented myself. I had displaced actions and lifestyle choices that I was no longer going to surround myself with. Yes, I did all of this…but said nothing.
Even now, I have to wonder: Why was I silent? What did I stand to lose that I did not lose in the end? My friendship with her? My roommate? My pride?
I trust that God is never not in control of our lives. He has helped me stay strong so that, moving forward, I can help the weak. I trust God that He has taught me the lesson of being an ambassador for Him and not just “acting”, but also speaking.
It is said that actions speak louder than words – yes – but, sometimes, even a small voice makes all the difference.