Tennessee family shows deep commitment to faith in death of 3-year-old son

Paul and Whitney Bradbury are living out every parent’s worst fears.

The family was attending a birthday party at a West Knoxville, Tenn., park when their 3-year-old son Patrick wandered off in the middle of the crowded celebration.
Tragically, his drowned body was found about two hours later by a police dive team in an adjacent lake.

But rather than make this a time of great sorrow and personal devastation, Paul and Whitney have very publicly said their suffering is a welcomed necessity toward forwarding God’s mission in their lives.

In a lengthy interview with a Knoxville television station, the couple open accepts that their son’s death may serve a purpose beyond their understanding. Both of them repeatedly refer to Jesus’ guarantees of suffering in living a Christian life, such as it is spelled out by Paul in Romans 5:1-5.

They also discuss how little suffering there is in American life compared to other parts of the world to try and frame Patrick’s death through a Christian lens.

Like most parents I’ve contemplated my reaction if something horrific happened to one or more of my kids. I never dwell long, it’s too difficult to contemplate. For families which are experiencing it, no amount of prayers and support should be held back. It also underscores the deep-seeded commitment to faith in the Bradburys’ reaction.

The Bradburys have three older sons. A memorial service is schedule for today and burial tomorrow.


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