Doesn’t Get Any More Sad Than This

If you haven’t been watching the news the last 2 days, click here to read the story of 31-year-old Matthew Winkler. He was a Church of Christ Pastor in Selmer, Tennessee who was found shot and killed in the parsonage next door to the church he pastored. Church members went looking for him after he failed to show up for Wednesday night service. His wife and 3 daughters were gone.

Thursday night, his wife and kids were found about 400 miles south of their home in good condition. Friday morning, the news broke that his wife had confessed to planning and committing his murder.

News reports went on to indicate that the community is shocked and nobody had any idea such a thing could happen to this family. Friends, it will not surprise me in the least as the story unfolds to find out that things behind the facade were not all they appeared to be.

I really do not mean to sensationalize a tragic situation. That’s not my heart. However, if a story like this is the extreme case of living two lives, think about how many other stories are out there that are not making the news cycles.

This is the kind of tragedy (not just the end result, but the journey) that I have been addressing the last few years regarding Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. No one is perfect and no family is perfect. Yet the question still remains, how can one go years and years with a seemingly deep spirituality (or at least the impression of it) and still come to this place?

Let’s watch the story unfold. It may be that Mary Winkler just snapped, and it could be that something happened mentally. But even still, how does that happen without somebody, somewhere, somehow, NOT noticing that something’s not right?

You cannot separate your emotional health from your spiritual maturity. When you do, you are sure to deal with the temptation to live one life publically and another privately. And, in the end, that ALWAYS catches up with you.

I am praying for the Winkler kids, and for Mary, and the family members and church body they served. May God’s grace somehow permeate the tangible shock and grief that so many will endure these next days and months, and even years.

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