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.