Toby MacKeehan lost his 21-year old son this week.
This news is hitting my mama’s heart hard. I don’t know Toby. I know people that know him, but that’s the closest connection I can claim.
And yet, I’m grieving with him as if he were a friend.
When you live your life in the spotlight, you don’t get to pick and choose which parts people see and which you keep private. It’s all out there – the highs and the lows – for people to watch you process.
That’s what makes his platform so massive.
And here’s how he and his wife responded in a Facebook post yesterday to this deep-seated fear every parent knows:
My wife and I would want the world to know this…
We don’t follow God because we have some sort of under-the-table deal with Him, like, we’ll follow you if you bless us. We follow God because we love Him. It’s our honor.
He is the God of the hills and the valleys.
And He is beautiful above all things.
These words carry exponentially more weight than they would have if he had written them a week ago.
As a grieving father, the loss still fresh enough that many in his circle are probably still in the denial stage, Toby suddenly has a newly defined (albeit unwanted) platform.
Spending his life on center stage is not new to him. But now he is grieving his son on that stage.
You guys, CNN shared Toby’s post. In it’s entirety.
The world doesn’t stop watching when tragedy hits. They watch even more closely. They scrutinize every word, every post, every photo, every statement, looking for hope. Looking for answers. Looking for Jesus.
Toby and his wife pointed people straight to Jesus.
D.C. Talk formed the soundtrack of my teen years. I knew every single word of Free at Last. 30 years later I’m still listening to his music and continue to be a TobyMac fan to this day.
And yet no words from Toby MacKeehan have impacted me the way reading his Facebook post about his son did.
Toby, may your public journey of grief be an avenue to Jesus for a watching world desperate for hope. Thank you for sharing your life with us.