A neighbor died. His funeral is today. I didn't know him very well as we have only been here a year, but he was a great man. As I've listened to other neighbors and family members talk about his life, I sorrowed thinking that I would never know him the way they had. People I love, loved him.
I drove past the church today where the funeral preparations were taking place. There lining the street were 25+ police and fire trucks. It was an awesome sight. He was the fire chief from the neighboring city, another small community like our own. Officers from different cities all over came to honor this wonderful man for he was one of their own.
I had to pull over I was so taken by the sight. Officers in their dress uniforms lined the main fire truck that would carry this great man's body to his final resting place. The fire truck was covered with billowing black cloth to mourn and honor one of their own.
I stayed. I had not intended to.
The death of this man (brain cancer) brought us all together. Strangers who had been influenced by an ordinary man, who touched the lives of others in extraordinary ways. I didn't know the police officer who directed the traffic where I was parked, but through my tears I saw compassion in his eyes. He nodded and as he did I knew he understood the tenderness in my heart.
Today one of our own was laid to rest. Our friend, neighbor, and defender in Christ.