Six years ago today my son, James, died. Cancer was the foe.
I have been blessed today to hear from many, many friends. His, mine, ours. This is an instance where I appreciate the social media. It has carried many encouraging, healing messages to us all.
“He inspired…”, “He was an inspiration”, “He was brave”, “He made me smile”, “He had a beautiful smile” and “He was a giant in the faith”.
James would have laughed, maybe even rolled his eyes, not taking the words seriously. He didn’t see himself that way. Those of us who knew him, day in-day out, didn’t see him that way either. He was just James with the silver car, the ever-present cell phone, who loved drumline and worshiping God on his drums.
And that is the way he should see himself. Nothing special. Not perfect. EXCEPT –
- He wore the helmet of salvation that reminded him where he was going while he was dying.
- The breastplate of righteousness, the righteousness of Jesus, is what made others inspired
- The belt of truth told him what he needed to know, when he needed to know it. He was prepared.
- He walked in peace for five years with a word that can strike fear in the hearts of all who hear it.
- With the many who were at his right and his left, he kept the shield of faith close; trusting God for what he could not understand.
- He wielded the sword of faith as his Mentor taught. “My God can heal me but if He should choose not to do so – I will still worship Him” (Daniel 3:17-18)
James in and of himself was nothing special. But from the moment God conceived him, he was a gift. And it was Jesus in him that made him the James we remember and draw inspiration.
“He inspires me to run my race. Everyone’s race is different and everyone is held accountable for running their race. Run your race as to win the prize! I know James is enjoying his prize!” – Janet Webb Lister, September 22, 2010