Two days ago I attended the funeral for a friend's husband. He passed unexpectedly after a bout with cancer. I heard testimonials from several friends of the deceased. They told the story of a man who lived a life of love for his fellow man. From what his wife told me in the months we've worked together, these were no exaggerations. These tales exactly described his character.
This gentleman was a leader. He bore other's burdens with joy. He called out other men to be leaders in their homes for their wives and children. He was the rock on whom his wife and boys could lean at any time of the day or night for support. From what I heard, and knew from his wife, he was also not a man who allowed blind love of another person to cover up their faults in his eyes. This man called all people to raise themselves up to meet the challenges of life. He carried the same attitude when he looked in the mirror as well. He had confidence in himself, but never a vanity for himself. So when he did not know answers to life's hard questions, he reached out to a trusted circle of friends and the Lord for guidance.
Good men seek challenges, camaraderie, glory in the Lord, and lay down their life in service. Somehow the best of the good men do all these things with a smile. Obviously this gentlemen was all of these things.
So as we stood at the Canton American Military Cemetery, I looked out at the headstones and thought of what this fallen soldier could teach others in one sentence. It really came down to what all good military men have in common. He lived love not vanity.
Please pray for this family. My friend and her two good sons lost a good husband and father. Now they will need the strength to carry on their own lives, with the direction left by a good man in the example of a life well lived inscribed on their hearts.
PS Just a note about the photo above. In American Military Cemeteries on US Soil we are not legally allowed to photograph the names on the tombstones (per the custodians at the Los Angeles National Cemetery). So in the four minutes I had to take a few photos before a huge thunderstorm...I got a few quality photos...under that specific guidance. Took some adjustments to make sure I stayed in the law, but I think it worked out.