a good word for a friend.

Bud was 94. He died on Monday. I’ve known his daughter for nearly thirty years. I’ve known him for half that.

I knew pieces of his story, like his service following World War 2. But I knew more of how he lived in the present. Bud read the Bible, applied it to himself, and talked about it with a passion. He was, I suppose, a living example of Ezra, who read the law, obeyed the law, and taught the law. Bud prayed aloud in prayer meetings with a humility and intensity. It was clear that he wasn’t performing; he was letting us listen to the conversation that happened all the time.

I knew less about his competitiveness, not being an athlete. But I heard that he played hard, in basketball, softball, and golf.

And I heard that he was a friend. I talked with a man who said, “A couple days after my wife died, I was sitting in the silence. I got in the car, drove to his house and said, ‘can I cry with you?'”

But I’m selfish. I care about what he did for me.

He always asked me how Andrew was doing. He said that he prayed for Andrew. He said, “I wish I could do more.” I told him that praying was a lot.  Through soccer, through college, through wedding, Bud was regularly talking with God about my son.

I understand that the members of the trinity are talking with each other about us. And I’m glad for that. But know that this white-haired guy was joining in that conversation humbled me.

Bud’s funeral is today. I get to lead it. As I talk with God about Bud, and talk with his friends and family about God, I’ll be grateful. And sad.

And I’ll carry on the conversation.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

6 thoughts on “a good word for a friend.

  1. Beautifully said; what a precious gift are the saints who are farther along in the race He has set before us!

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  2. Thanks so much for honoring Dad in this column, Jon. Many who attended the service commented on how uplifting & inspiring it was. May all of us not stop there, and instead seek to follow Dad’s example.

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