Dan; A Constant Calm In The Midst Of Storms


I immediately liked him, even when he was just a name written in a letter to me. That’s how I first heard of him. My baby sister had pledged to me when I left for my church mission to Argentina, that she wouldn’t get married till I returned. But within six months a letter arrived telling me she was dating a guy and that they were getting serious. Not too long afterward she let me know that she was getting married before I would be returning home. I figured that she had to have met a pretty special guy if she was going to break her word to me. When I got back from Argentina in July of 1977, I got to meet the man she had chosen. And he didn’t disappoint! I don’t know exactly why he was naturally likeable. He just was! He seemed to always be smiling, joking, always with warmth.

Over the years he always showed kindness both to me and to my family. And over all these years I can never recall being mad at him. My sister had made a wise choice! He was a great husband and father to their kids. I don’t know why bad things happen to such good people. I know it is part of the plan but somehow, his sudden death years ago still stings!

I was talking with my wife the other night. We talked about life and its meaning; its fragileness! One minute things are going well, and the next, well….. ! I cannot imagine going through life without her by my side. Yet, I know it is a fact that she or I will have to walk that road, alone, someday. I am always in hopes that it will be later than sooner, but it is something I have very little control of. I can only control my response to it! I have great faith that life is eternal, that my marriage, as well as my siblings marriages can also be eternal.

My brother-in-law lived a life of service and devotion to the building up of the kingdom of God, and of loving and supporting his family. He lacked nothing when it came to caring for people! I think it is evident from how people speak of him, that they loved and cared about him. I feel fortunate to have visited him and my sister just a couple of weeks before he died. I spent one evening, late, talking with him and my sister. He spoke positively about his kids, others, and about life in general. He was not much for complaining. My sister and I droned on, talking about childhood memories. Memories that, I’m sure, he has heard over and over and over. He listened and smiled till his eyes became heavy, then his breathing. I looked over at him, peacefully sleeping on the couch. He slept there for some time as my sister and I kept talking. Finally he awoke, smiled at us and excused himself to bed. It’s not that I see that interaction as so “amazing.” It was the consistency of his “demeanor” through the years that was “amazingly” special. He was a constant calm in the midst of the storms of life!

I am grateful to have known him. It has been over a decade since he passed to the other side. I pray his children will always remember that their father was a man of God. It was the belief he held in eternal life, eternal marriage, and eternal families that gave him the calm to weather the storms of this life, even to the end. It is the promises of the Lord that make men of God calm. For they know who is at the helm, and who is guiding their lives toward the great horizon.

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