#237: We Live and We Die
Sunday, February 21, 2010
As humans, it is destined for us to eventually pass on. What was once a living, breathing human being with thoughts, emotions, hopes and aspirations suddenly becomes an inanimate object.
So it was this week with a close acquaintance. Dennis was only 53 and died suddenly in his sleep.
He was more than an associate in the dangerous profession we shared. He was an astute listener, a missionary, a terrific parent and a positive mentor to the young people joining his law enforcement agency.
I learned a lot from Dennis.
I learned that a quiet demeanor and soft-spoken ways are not signs of weakness but signs of inner strength and conviction.
I learned that being in the industry we were in does not need to force us to become jaded and cynical about others. He often prayed for criminals and victims when they asked and fed the homeless out of his pocket.
But it was his faith that impressed me the most. Dennis led a Bible study at his local church and organized mission trips to Haiti and Mexico to fed children and to build churches and schools. He took his 13-year-old daughter with him to Haiti to feed starving families and distribute medicine to rural villages. When his son was 11, Dennis took him to Mexico to help an area devastated by violence.
I learned that life isn't about me or trying to live the American dream, but about serving God and other people.
I learned that believing we each can help solve the world's problems in our own unique way is not a pipe dream, but what should be a way of life.
Yes, I learned a lot from Dennis. Most of all I learned that being a servant of the Lord in an often thankless job and an often thankless world, does not mean becoming bitter or spiteful. but rather becoming a person who puts others first.
Whether rescuing someone from a burning car or helping them get a meal or find warmth on a cold night, that is what he tried to do every day.
Yes, it's true that we live and then we die. It's what's between those two ends that matters. It's the legacy we leave that is important.
Don't you agree?