The sky was a little overcast, though the sun was peering through the clouds. The wind was a gentle breeze blowing in my face. I bent over to place a tee in the exact spot it needed to be and I stood up, taking a deep breathe looking around, my mind was flooded with thoughts. Unable to gain the composure I desired I took a step backward. The thoughts rushing in my mind were simple, what a day, what a moment, what a life!
On this Memorial Day weekend, I was not on a golf course, but was standing in the midst of a beautiful cemetery. A quiet place early on Saturday, where the grass was freshly mowed and decorations covered many head stones. It was peaceful even tranquil, but still my emotions were deep and painful.
The first thing that came to mind was how I wish there were scores of people milling around. I would call out to them and invite them to the spot where I was standing. Once they would have come over I would begin to introduce them to the greatest man they had never met. A guy who lived his life trying to better those around him, someone who made sure the people he came into contact with knew of the love of God. He lived it, shared it, and served others as a devotion to the one who died for him on the cross. He was strong and sometimes stubborn, ok always stubborn, but there was a softness to his manner. My friends have called me often to tell me just how important he was to them, his acceptance and generosity made a huge splash in their lives.
The second thing I would do is explain how a man can live committed to God and influence the masses. All it takes is a sacrifice of self, and willingness to be used of God and a devotion to the people you come into contact with. Anyone in need, whether for food, a place to stay, encouragement during a rough stretch of life or an explanation of a difficult passage of scripture, those were the ones he touched.
The last thing I would do is to tell those gathered at that place that this was my brother. The one guy who wanted more for me than I wanted for myself, always seeing me better than I really was. I love him, miss him and still want to be just like him!
I sat the tee down, stood up and read the painful words: Griffith, Stephen Duane February 27, 1958 – September 12, 2012.