Jb's Blog

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Life is Fragile

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I’ve lost two great Friends in the past three days. Bill Manning was a good Friend in California whom I haven’t seen in close to twenty-two years. Tom Howard was a Friend who lived here in Nashville, whom I got to see briefly once every week or two, the last time being just a couple of hours before he died last Friday. Both were really great men, and they both had a great influence on all who knew them.

Life as we know it here on this earth is fragile. It’s here, and then it’s gone. And because of that, it leads us to recognize that there has to be more to it than that. I pray that I will live the rest of the time I have here in such a way that when I am gone I will have left a fraction of the kind of influence on others that either of these Friends have.

One priceless trait they both shared was that they valued others, highly, and they were able to convey that in unmistakable and unavoidable ways in their relationships. That is a part of them that I hope to emulate in my life.

Another thing they had in common was that they both had a deep and abiding relationship with God, which shaped who they were. Neither of them valued their own significance above that of God in our world. Which is a bit ironic in that it’s one thing which gave both of their Lives such gravity with all who knew them.

Tom wrote an essay for City On a Hill which says a lot about his where he stood in his relationship with God. I can’t say that I’m there, but I aspire to be.

It is not only with my own children that I am learning to get out of the way. Sometime within the last two years, the prayer of ‘Thy will be done’ graduated from the rote status it had held in my psyche to an impassioned prayer. I grew weary of hearing myself qualify my prayers, making them comforting and familiar. At some point, I realized I needed to take a stance of total abandon. When I did, the prayer came out exactly like this: ‘God, do what You desire. Do it to me, through me, at me, against me, for me, with me, without me. I’m Yours. Thy will be done.’

On earth as in heaven. My soul waits in silence. Active, anticipating, rejoicing.

Tom Howard

Two great men – gone. But not forgotten. I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to know and be blessed by them. Long live Bill and Tom.


Written by jb

February 1, 2010 at 11:55 am

Posted in Life...

One Response

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  1. blessings brother.


    February 1, 2010 at 11:02 pm

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