In the Times of Tragedy

In the times of tragedy, God’s people should share the source of their strength. Before going into fulltime ministry, I worked with my wife Holly, mother Ann, father Louis, cousin Alan, and brother Mark and about several artisans at Buckhead Plating, Inc. and we survived many hairy experiences. In the early 70’s we struggled to make ends meet and almost went under when we moved away from Buckhead to 16th Street and Spring Street. In the early 80’s, just as we were beginning to prosper, we had a total loss of all equipment and tools (without renter’s insurance) due to a fire on Pharr Road. Later, we survived many street floods and even a tornado that sucked ceiling tiles out of Mom’s office (as she hid under her desk) on Bennett Street. We survived the madness of Eric Rudolph’s bombings in 1996 and Mark Barton’s shooting spree in 1999. Both occurred close to the current Piedmont location.

Thankfully all of the Buckhead Plating folks were well on their way home on the evening of March 30th when the I-85 bridge collapsed. We all praise God that no firefighters, police officers, nor homeless people were hurt or killed.

On April 4th my brother Mark is mentioned in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper on page A4 in an article entitled “Businesses near I-85 closure are optimistic.” He seized an opportunity to share his faith in our God who provides enough every day. The paper mentions many local business personalities and reads, “The owner of Buckhead Plating on Piedmont Road, Mark Shearon, is also keeping faith that things will work out. On a typical day the business sees between 20 and 30 customers. Since the collapse it has had just three. But Shearon isn’t worried. ‘I am the optimist on the street’ he said. ‘God will provide a way. We’ll be fine.’ The business, which has seven employees and has been around for decades, has never advertised and doesn’t plan to start now. It survived area road closures during the 1996 Olympic Park bombing, and will survive this, Shearon said.”

While tragedy often brings out the worse in some people, others like my brother Mark rise up as an inspiration to those of us who believe…despite it all, God is with us and for us. God is our provider, strength, and is our reason to be optimistic.