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Written by Troy Brewer  |  Found in: Main Articles

Have you ever been watching the news and noticed a particular saying after a terrible crash, “The names have not been released until the families have been notified.”?

This is a national policy and I know when it started. 

Lucy, let me splain’.

The news and the way people got their news in 1959 was way different than it is today. TV Journalism was still in it’s infant stages and radio ruled. When people woke up on February 3rd, 1959 they turned on their radios and heard toothpaste jingles with lines like this, 

“When Cutie Katy makes the scene, she wears a smile brushed three ways clean, Colgate clean is three ways clean...”

Waylon Jennings, a country bumpkin from West Texas and the bass player for a band playing 24 venues in 24 days, turned on his radio. In the midst of Band Aid commercials and Burma Shave jingles, he got the news the same way the rest of the world did. His Buddy, a guy everyone called Buddy, had died in a horrible plane crash and so did Richie Valens, the guy sitting in the seat that Waylon was supposed to be in. 

Buddy Holly's pregnant wife, María Elena, watched the first reports of his death on television in New York. A widow after only six months of marriage, she miscarried the following day, attributed to "psychological trauma". His mother, who heard the news on the radio in Lubbock, Texas, collapsed and because of María Elena's miscarriage, the authorities decided to implement a policy against announcing victims' names until after families are informed. That policy is a national standard now and I think about Buddy Holley and Waylon Jennings every time I hear it on the news. 

One of my great heroes, Mark Twain, was getting ready for a big fancy Christmas in 1909. It was December the 24th. His daughter Jean went to take a bath and never got out of the tub. She drowned due to an epileptic fit and to say it was a shock to Samuel Clemons is not appropriate. When he wrote about the discovery he said he was “Thunderstruck”. The event weakened him and he didn't live long after that. 

The bearer of bad news comes to all of us at some time in our lives. We can pretend it wont ,which doesn't work or act like its going to be every day which also doesn't work. We can be bound with horrible fear and shackled by dread of what if scenarios. There is no life in any of those things, so none of that is a good choice for you. If you cant keep bad news from knocking at our door, then what exactly can we do? 

Roscoe P Coaltrain from the Dukes of Hazard used to walk into a room and say “Good news, Good news..” You've got to welcome some good news deliverers into your life. It turns out that good news outweighs bad news and if I am full of good news, I am not scared of the bad news that comes calling. 

As a Christian, I know that it is my responsibility to think on things that make me fall in love with God and with life over and over again. I want to believe the best, I want to be a hope fanatic. I want to be a dreamer. I want to smell the coffee and have feasts of colors everywhere. I want to think life is awesome and I want to laugh until I nearly pass out. 

I do this, even though I am neck deep in hurting people. Through our orphanages, our food outreach, our work with the homeless and our prison ministry. For what ever awareness I have of bad stuff, it is my responsibility, my challenge and my privilege to grow in my awareness of God’s goodness and abundant life. 

...But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more.
Romans 5:20 HCSB version

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