Spilled Salt: The Olympics, My Heart, and a Song


By Adam Van Dop

It’s February 12th, 2010, a day that will surely be remembered by many people, for many different reasons. Today, the world is welcomed into Vancouver for the 21st Winter Olympics.

I must say, it is a wonderful feeling knowing that the world is focused on my backyard and that I (with my wife) even get to attend one of these events (women’s aerial ski jumping @ cypress mtn).

But, just this afternoon I heard about, and then saw the tragic accident on the luge track at Whistler, which ended in the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, a slider from Georgia.

My heart sank as I heard the news.

What a terrible way to start off this celebration of sport and community.

My heart was heavy as I drove to my office later this afternoon. Upon arrival, I turned on my computer to find that updates must complete before logging on. With a frustrated sigh, I looked at my guitar and picked it up. I strummed one chord, and immediately a song came to mind.

I tried to play the song but to no avail. While I struggled further through the chords, my computer finished booting up, emails came in, Facebook was logged on, and the song carried on singing behind my thoughts.

I opened up windows media player, found the song, and cranked it.

I got that shiver, from head to toe as I listened to the words, and as the words penetrated my every being.

I was filled again with hope and love as the words of “Mighty to Save”  filled my office.

During the chorus this shiver came back:

“My Savior, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.”

Images of this accident came flashing again before my eyes, as Kumaritashvili laid on the ground, motionless, and as emergency crews came racing to his aid.

Once this song played out, I was filled with a sense of hope, peace, and love that warmed my heart. I was reminded that although we all face danger on a day to day basis – as a Christian, a follower of Christ – I know there is something for me, for us, once our time here on earth has come to an end. I sincerely hope that this man had his heart in the right place, and that he has met Christ, standing there with open arms, saying “welcome home my son.”

Everyone needs compassion, especially now, especially the family of this young man, and the country he is from, Georgia.

We serve a God who created these mountains that surround our city, and every soul within it, who loves us all unconditionally.
We serve a God who came and walked upon this earth so alongside us, showing us a better way.
We serve a God who hung on a cross, so that our sins would not be held against us.
We serve a God who is mighty to save.

From the words of Zephaniah 3:17:
“The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”

May the words of this song be a comfort to you and give you a sense of peace when your heart is low.
May we be reminded that in light of this tragedy, our lives are short, and not within our control, but that the Lord has paved a way for you and me into eternity with him.

Remember in your prayers all the athletes who are competing in the coming two weeks. Pray for their safety and security. I ask also that you remember Kumaritashvili’s family, his team-mates, and his country, as they mourn his tragic death.

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