Tuesday, August 25, 2009
"A man makes a living out of what he gets, he makes a life out of what he gives away." - Winston Churchill
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13 (NLT) - Jesus Christ
We laid the body that had contained the immortal soul of Tommy Williams to rest yesterday. While living his life enjoying the love of his bride Amelia, his daughters Amy and Blythe, his grandson Ian, and that of his friends, he was overtaken by cancer and succumbed to death.
I knew Tommy mostly from the impact he had on his family. We had met several times when he would bring Ian (or pick him up from) to his piano lessons, and when he'd come to New Hope to watch Ian do something special in the service. Thinking back, I never saw Tommy Williams when he wasn't focused on someone else.
At the viewing, the family had provided dozens of pictures of Tommy and family throughout his life. They showed a couple in love, the family as it began and grew, and as they experienced one of the sweetest of God's gifts - joy. I peeked into those vignettes and found Tommy was many times sitting next to someone laughing. In others where he was the sole subject, he appeared at rest and in contentment. So few people are.
Yesterday more windows into Tommy's life opened as we heard from people who had known him for many many years tell of how he had lived a consistent life of service, compassion, and faithfulness throughout his adult life. His pastor pointed out that it was the presence of Jesus within Tommy that was behind it all. This pastor can tell you that though many people have been given new life through Jesus Christ, far fewer live one.
To the very end.
Tommy's already heard this from Jesus, but I want to say it too.
He will be missed, but not forgotten.