Tragedy can strike suddenly – just ask Monty Williams, an assistant basketball coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On Feb. 9, Ingrid, Monty’s wife of 20 years, died in a head-on car accident after another driver crossed the center lane and hit Ingrid at 78 miles per hour, nearly twice the speed limit.
In a split second Monty’s world was brutally shaken. What started out as an ordinary day ended as one that would forever change the Williams family. At age 44, Monty Williams is left to raise their five children, ages 5 to 17, alone.
No one would blame Monty if he were unable to cope with what happened just over a week ago. We would all understand if he harbored anger at the driver whose actions cost the life of his beloved wife and best friend.
But God is intervening in the life of Monty Williams and his family. It’s clear that the Lord is seeing them through.
We know this because that is what Monty, a committed Christian, shared during his incredible eulogy to his wife yesterday.
Monty didn’t only remember his beloved wife – a woman he said “fit me perfectly” – he also took the opportunity to share the Gospel with the more than 900 people gathered at Crossing Community Church. And what he said was so profound, sincere and supernatural that is being reported widely.
In the moment of his greatest grief, Monty spoke of God’s love and goodness seeing them through.
“God does love us,” he said. “He loved me so much He sent His Son to die for my sins.” He talked with assurance that, despite the pain, “God causes all things to work out.”
He even asked the people gathered to remember the family of the other driver, Susannah Donaldson, in their time of mourning.
“Everybody’s praying for me and my family, which is right. But let us not forget that there were two people in this situation,” he said. “That family needs prayer as well. And we have no ill will toward that family. In my house, we have a sign that says, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ We cannot serve the Lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness.”
Monty’s words are borne out of a faith lived out during a lifetime of serving God. During the eulogy, Monty shared how his career was almost thwarted at age 18, when doctors warned that he would die if he continued playing basketball due to a heart condition. When Monty told Ingrid what happened, she told him, “Honey, Jesus can heal your heart” – and He did.
It’s fitting Monty would remember that experience as he talked about his wife because he again needs Jesus to heal his heart. Their children, Lael, Janna, Micah, Faith and Elijah, need that, too.
I hope you’ll watch Monty’s complete eulogy. Please join me in praying that the Lord will continue to strengthen the family as they mourn the earthly separation from the woman who has meant everything to them.