In ‘Still Wrestling,’ minister whose wife, son were slain explores faith, doubt
A double murder. A destroyed family. A shattered faith. After…
Mark Moore grew up in a two-bedroom house — which held a family of 10 — in a tough borough of New York City. But he had the gift of being great with numbers, and he did extremely well in school.
He became a self-made, highly successful entrepreneur, launching an internet start-up that provided services to the U.S. Defense Department. He wore tailor-made suits and lived on a 10,000-square-foot property with a pool. He honored God on Sundays, but on the other six days of the week, he was in control.
And then the bottom fell out from under him.
In “A Stroke of Faith: A Stroke Survivor’s Story of a Second Chance at Living a Life of Significance,” Moore details the events of May 12, 2007, when a minor stroke sent him to the hospital and a second one put him in a coma. He lost nearly a month of his life — a life that would never be the same. One day, while lying in his hospital bed, feeling hopeless, Moore remembered words his mother once told him: “God only gives you what he knows you can handle.”
He decided to trust God.
His story is one of tremendous courage. Formerly a highly efficient, self-reliant businessman, he now had to rely on others for even the simplest of tasks as his brain and body failed to communicate. In the process, he learned that he also needed to rely on a higher power in order to heal.
“Type A people want control,” Moore said in an interview with The Christian Chronicle. “They work hard on Monday and expect results on Tuesday. … Sometimes we can’t find God because we’re not listening.
“Sometimes life’s storms are screams to us. We must turn to our faith. Sometimes we feel God, and other times our emotions are trying to turn us away. If we quit on ourselves, we quit on God.”
He had to learn to accept help from his wife, friends and experienced caregivers. Now he uses his struggles to help others. He and his wife established the Mark and Brenda Moore Family Foundation, which supports advances in healthcare, education, culture, arts and evangelism, he said.
For those of us who follow Christ yet struggle with over-reliance on self, “storms are sometimes the blessing of redirection,” Moore told the Chronicle. He’s also an advocate for early medical intervention when something seems amiss physically.
“Get yourself to a hospital as quickly as possible,” he advised. Although he didn’t have the typical signs of stroke, he believes that “getting help quickly can be the difference between life and death. Talk to your doctors, and tell them what hurts and where. Do not give up.”
Regardless of health, wealth and circumstances, Moore advised believers to stay focused on God and resist the urge to take the reins.
“We can’t let God just be a catch phrase,” he said. “We must stay plugged in and connected to the relationship his Word creates for us.”
DAWNNA HALE and her family worship with the Pitman Road Church of Christ in Sewell, N.J.
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