As Sherri Burgess looked out over the crowd gathered for dinner, she posed a question: “What’s it going to take?”
Burgess, author of “Bronner: A Journey to Understand” and wife of syndicated radio host Rick Burgess of “The Rick & Bubba Show,” said her young son’s death was what it took for her to realize God’s urgent call for sinners to be saved.
Her question challenged those in the audience to consider what it would take for each of them to put the eternity of others first.
“What’s it going to take to get you up here in this place … between heaven and earth, crying out ‘sinner, dear sinner, come home’?”
Burgess spoke of a chair that belonged to her 2-year-old son Bronner, who drowned in 2008. She said she uses the chair now as a step stool, which is fitting because Bronner’s death taught her that life as a believer is lived not quite on earth and not quite in heaven.
“I can see so clearly now looking back how God used Bronner to help me step into that place — not quite heaven, even though I grasp for it all the time,” she said. “I’m not really still on the earth either completely. My citizenship is in heaven, and my hope is in seeing the glory of God face to face.”
Burgess said she has learned that suffering and calamity are part of the Christian experience for a reason — to “fan into flame any bit of faith we’ve got and to mark who we belong to.”
She challenged those present to rejoice in times of trial because those times help us “see clearly who we are in respect to omnipotent Holy God and realize that we are utterly helpless.” In those times “all we can say is ‘God help me’ because we know nobody else can.”
Burgess said she is now “right where God wants me to be” and wants others to remember that God is real and present here and in heaven.
“I used to want heaven because I wanted Bronner, but now I know that more than I need Bronner, I need God. Because God is incomparable, greater than anything.” (Carrie Brown McWhorter)