When A Homicide Hit Home!


It was over 25 years ago that I found myself riding shotgun in a brand new BMW under the warmth of the hot summer sun. The radio was at full blast and as I looked over at my fellow co-worker; he was all smiles. I was on my way to a sales appointment with him in hopes of landing a big account that would net him some substantial money. I remember the warmth of the wind as he lowered the roof of the car. He looked over at me and said, “You know, I paid for this in cash.” (Referring to his new car) Then he laughed and turned back to his driving. As he did so, and to no one in particular, I heard him say, “Life is good…life is really good!” Yes, indeed, I must admit, it did look rather bright that day for him. We later closed that account, and his day became even better. And if not for the ensuing events that happened a few years later, I would have forgotten that conversation. But our exchange quickly came back to mind the day I heard he had been murdered!

Life is such a precious thing. We never know when it will come to an end. For my co-worker, it came to a sudden halt about five years after we spent the day together. Armed with a knife, an employee of his stabbed both he and his secretary multiple times in a robbery gone bad. My friend died of multiple stab wounds, but his secretary lived to identify the killer. On the run, it wasn’t until the homicide was broadcast on “America’s Most Wanted” two years later, that the man responsible for taking the life of my friend was apprehended and then incarcerated.

When I heard the news of his murder, I reflected back to the day we spent together. I could see his smiling face. We were both young, with thick hair, that was blowing in the warm summer wind as we drove along in his new, cash paid for, BMW. He and I both had young families with wives that we loved. Whenever I think of him, that’s the picture that comes to my mind! Interestingly, a parable also always pops into my head, because it is so apropos to the fragility of life:

“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-20)

I don’t know what faith my friend was, or if he had a faith at all. Hopefully he was prepared to meet his maker. But what I learned from his homicide was that, as I lived my life, I needed to keep my priorities in order. Because I would never know, the day, the year, or the time, when my soul would be required of me! None of us do!

So let us “lay up for (ourselves) treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where (our) treasure is, there will (our) heart be also. (Matthew 6:21-22)


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