Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Testimony Of A Life

I got a phone call Monday night. A friend was calling to let me know that a mutual friend of ours had died, very unexpectedly, Sunday. This mutual friend was only 47(I'm 42)! He left behind a wife, a daughter, both parents, and 3 sisters.

He was a schoolteacher and he was also very active in his church(one that I went to for about a decade roughly 10 years ago). So, he left several "families" behind; not just his biological ones.

He also left behind a very powerful testimony. I hadn't been in contact with him recently; it had been about 2 years since we'd had any direct contact, but I still remember a lot about him, almost all of which is a very strong, consistent, God-glorifying testimony.

I've done a lot of thinking about him since I got that phone call on Monday. Yes, about how shocking it is when someone dies before they're 50; before their parents, leaving grade-school-aged kid(s) behind, etc. But also about what a quality, character guy he was, the legacy and impact on others he left behind, etc.

If I had to sum up his life(from my perspective), I'd say that he was a servant. He was, truely, a very giving, serving, others-focused person. And, because he had his personal act together, spiritually and otherwise, he was giving and serving with and from his fruits, not his roots.

How many messages have we, as Christians, heard about how true "fruit" is an OVERFLOW from a healthy "tree"? About how fruit production isn't an effort or a burden to a healthy tree, it's a natural result of it's health. Well, Bill lived this. His life backed-up, echoed, and validated his words. How many people do we know of - whether personally, professionally, or publically - that we can say any of that about?

Christian martyr and missionary Jim Elliot is known for having said "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose". Bill Paxton lived this as well as anyone I know.

1 Comments:

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Yeah. People like that really encourage us by the lives that they lead. That must be the one most powerful testimony of all. Walking the walk if they talk the talk.

 

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