This post might sound a bit . . . overdone/expected/trite.
Nonetheless: with great appreciation, affection, and respect; I write in honor of Alfred. A man of amazing faith and love who has lived nearly 100 years. Tonight I learned that he may be about to breathe his last and he wanted me to be the one to be there with him for his last rites — something I interpret as his last words to and from God. If I was there tonight, I would hold up a mirror to his face and say: “Love, Love, Love, Love. From Love you came. By Love you have lived all the days of your life. To Love you return. Know that you rest eternally in the amazing embrace of Love.”
The one of whom I write is a humble man who has made significant scientific contributions to this world, though the kinds of projects he has worked on for our government have haunted him many days of his life. I had the pleasure of being his pastor for a brief part of his journey — the part in which he lost his younger sister and underwent several rounds of what we all expected would be his final days. Last winter he declared he would live to another spring, to plant a garden and watch the fruits of his labors grow. I have had the joy of getting to know one of his daughters, one who might just be the most faithfully, devoted, loving, fun-loving person in this world. Her commitment to her family has been inspiring. A smile comes to my lips every time I think of her and her dear, passing father. It’s been over a year since last I saw them, but due to their loving generosity, I still sip tea each morning for which they are responsible! (When Alfred found out I loved to drink a cup of tea in the morning, he made sure they got me a box or two every few weeks — even during the days he was hospitalized and during the time he was burying his younger sister!) When I moved here a little over a year ago, I had a mid-size cardboard box full of boxes of tea! Alfred always wanted to ensure I, as his pastor, had this little pleasure each day. His heart is pure kindness. Love. Grace.
We never do know the kind of impact we have in this world. Who we are can be given as such a gift. In simple ways. In ways that encourage along a fellow, struggling traveler.
In honor of an un-known man who gave not only of his brilliance, but also of his incredible generous spirit, be someone today that impacts this world forever for good!
So be it . . .