In February of this year a good friend of mine died from cancer. He was also my boss and a brother in the Lord. He had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lymphoma 5 years ago and I was able to witness up close his journey through chemo, remission, chemo again, transplant, return of cancer, another transplant, and then a final downturn that he didn’t recover from.
Charles was a remarkable person in many ways, but the one thing that stands out above all others is his remarkable love for people. He was interested in the details of their lives. And not just the people he knew. His wife recently shared a story with me about Charles striking up a conversation with a man putting flyers on cars in our office parking lot. He gave the man a Bible and shared some words of encouragement with him and just genuinely showed interest in this man’s life. This man still remembers Charles and carries that Bible with him in his truck. The fact that a total stranger cared about him made an impact on his life.
But what I carry closest to my heart are these words that Charles was known to speak in response to those who became frustrated with others – Love the people.
Over the past 6 months I have reflected back on the 10 years I knew Charles. I suspect that there are many wonderful things about him that I never knew. But one thing I do know – Charles was a man whose heart’s desire was to demonstrate the love of Christ. And he did it. He did it.
And I am forever changed. And learning to love the people.