A Single Moment January 25, 2022


Many years ago the Lord providentially brought across my path a young man by the name of Micah Hendry. Little did I know that he would become a key part of the ministry the Lord has given us to do at this time. I have preached the funeral of both his father and his mother and have watched the grace of God at work in his life through it all. He is engaged to a fine young lady and they are preparing for what God has for them. Today would have been his mother’s birthday. Ironically, she was the one who asked me after the death of his father if he could perhaps help me with some projects. Shelley was a special lady and a blessing to many. The article that follows, written by her son, is a profound testimony to that influence. – Scott Pauley

Several weeks ago, I was seated in a courtroom hearing the case of a fatal car crash involving a drunk driver. After the hearing, I spoke to the prosecutor. As he explained how the case would proceed, the prosecutor spoke about how they will try to argue many different points. As we were getting ready to leave, he commented on how there were beer cans spilling out of [NJ’s] car and there were church fliers falling out of Shelley’s (the victim).

I have reflected upon this thought hundreds of times since then. There were two lives. They crossed at the same exact time, the same exact place, in the same exact way – but the memory of each life could not contrast more starkly. 

As I sat in that courtroom, my heart wrenched for the young man. Alone. Broken. Hopeless. Years of his life will now be taken from him, and lifelong guilt will plague him. I reflected back 4 months to the memorial service of Shelley. Packed. Healing. Hopeful. Nearly 2000 people had filled the room to remember a life given wholly to God. Those who knew and loved her will always remember the years that she invested in others. That’s the difference. One life will be known for taking, and the other for giving. One will be known for destruction, and the other for building up. One will be known for wasting, and the other for investing. 

Both Shelley and NJ came from hard childhoods. Both were exposed to the transforming power of the gospel at young ages. Both were coming from the places that mattered most to them that night. Shelley had yielded her life to Christ and sought to live every moment of her adult life for eternity. Nineteen-year-old NJ made an irresponsible choice and, in those moments, destroyed countless lives. One precious life was snuffed out. That life was the life of my mother, Shelley Hendry. Today would have been her birthday. Two lives. Two cars. One moment. It is hard to think of a more powerful reminder that we must live each moment for our dear Master. 

As I left the courthouse, there stood NJ. Still alone, distressed, and broken. I walked over and spoke to him. He began to cry. Over and over, he said he wished it would have been him that died that night. He told me he had watched the news interview and the memorial service. He was overwhelmed. His grief over the past and terror of the future was evident. Praise God there is hope for NJ, and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to tell him of Christ’s forgiveness for every sinner. I pray that he finds the hope found only in Christ. I pray that he finds eternal life in Christ. However, his life will never be the same. To some degree, that one moment will define the course of his life. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13 directs us to “…hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” 

A single moment can determine the course of your entire life. How will you spend the next moment? Beer cans or church fliers?

Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”  C.T. Studd 


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  1. Nancy Marlow on January 25, 2022 at 9:33 PM

    What a heart-stirring account! I pray that NJ will accept Christ as his Savior. I’m so sorry for Micah, but thankful that his mother is with the Lord! Thanks for sharing this. Praying for you as you begin speaking in about half an hour in Spokane for the final message!

    • Loretta Smith on January 28, 2022 at 8:27 AM


      I knew your Mom many years ago. I thank God for her testimony. She was an amazing lady.

      Thank you for sharing your heart here. Thank you also for living Christ to the one who took your Mom’s life. You are a vessel carrying hope for that man.

      I too look forward to the day I live Christ to the individual that took my son’s life and testify before the court of His goodness despite my earthly loss. Your testimony here has been an encouragement on my journey.

      God bless you.

      • Micah Hendry on February 16, 2022 at 6:30 PM

        I appreciate the kind words! God bless!

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