Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2 Losses One Heartbreak

Within a couple of days this world lost two men. One man was unknown to the world, while the other had great fame.

The first man was my great uncle Ralph Fry. Ralph was the father of six kids, a retired carpenter, and a great Christian man. Ralph also had the privilege to serve in WWII as a member of the 509th Composite Group. That group was specially selected to drop the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan. Uncle Ralph was a ground mechanic for the two planes that participated in that event.

When I heard the news of Uncle Ralphs passing my heart was saddened, but knew that he was at peace. No longer did he labor to breath. No longer did he have to go through medical test after medical test. No longer did he have to fight the cancer that was about to ravage his body. He is at peace; he is now at home with the father.

Two days after I heard the passing of Uncle Ralph, tragic news struck the Cincinnati community. Chris Henry, a wide receiver for the Bengals passed away after a domestic dispute with his fiancé. If you follow much football you know that Henry had struggled with the law in his short young life. However, all the news reports, all the people involved with the Bengals, and his family said he was finally getting things in order. He had spent a lot of time cleaning up his life.

Our Sr. Minister had the privilege of speaking with the Bengals at their training camp. While there he got to have a conversation with Henry. During that conversations Henry took the opportunity to talk with Marty’s grandson about making right decisions and listening to the right people in his life. Henry seemed to be on the right road.

When I heard the news of Henry’s passing, I felt a different emotion than I did for Uncle Ralph. Uncle Ralph was 89 years old and a Christian man. He had lived a full life, and is finally in peace. Chris Henry was only 26 years old. I do not know if he was a Christian, or had any relationship with God, but I do know he left two young children behind. My heart went out for his soul and where it might be.

Friends, I believe situations like these tend to remind us of the urgency we must carry out the gospel. We never know when life will be taken from us. We must strive to bring the message of the cross to all who will hear. I can take comfort that Uncle Ralph is at home with the father. Can you take comfort that your friends and family have a relationship with the God, and have confidence where their soul will reside? Can you say the same for yourself?

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