You may not agree and you may become angry with my take on the death of this 22 year old friend of mine who died recently, but I am not alone in my viewpoint. However, your opposition won’t move me one iota and you wouldn’t like my rebuttal. In fact, not wishing to be mean, you might be embarrassed by it. I know whereof I write.
Though Brad had only a grave side service, it was not without friends—especially young friends. Many of the young men and young women he graduated with from R.B.S. High were there to say goodbye to Brad. They came from Tennessee Tech—young women and young men, hugging each other, remembering how Brad made them laugh and how he reached out to them and helped them in various ways. Some even gave up a days work to be at the service for him. Something, more than all the sadness of the day touched my heart, and that was when our paralyzed grandson, Allen, rolled his wheelchair up to Brad’s casket, with tears running down his cheeks, and laid his hand on Brads cold hand. Brad came to our house numerous times and lifted Allen into his truck. Allen and the other young men, when they could, shared their money with Brad and he was grateful.
Brad didn’t have a father to go fishing with him or to watch him play football, but he had a lot of friends rooting for him.
Our family always found him to be a good hearted young man who had at times only a platform rocker for a bed, for his mother was poor too; but a very hard worker. Some of us didn’t really know how much Brad suffered until recently. But whatever people did for him, he was thankful. We had him at our house for Thanksgiving and I’ll not forget that after the meal he went into the living room and said to my wife, “Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your family today.” Several members of our family along with others in our community gave him money from time to time but I am sickened that we didn’t do more for him.
Brad was sick and the medical attention he received was not enough. When he was younger, I have learned, that he was told by a doctor that he needed surgery but it never happened.
Brad died the way he lived the most of his life—poor. In fact, the last year or two of his life he was homeless in Red Boiling, staying wherever he could. There was no money to bury him, but several helped and though the burial was minimal, he was lovingly buried by some who cared. Any person wishing to help complete the payment on his funeral expenses or help erect a small monument in his memory should make checks payable to either Anderson & Son Funeral Home in R.B.S. or Lafayette Monument Company.
Brad didn’t always make the best decisions, but he knew how to do something some who sit in the pews three times a week haven’t learned how to do—care for people. Maybe some need to pay better attention to what the preacher says, and go out and practice what they heard in the assembly. Some apparently find it easier to care for the well-to-do then those whose lives are filled with poverty and struggles. A little message for all—that was not how Jesus operated.
While you’re on your way to the meeting house, and your religion never really goes beyond the meeting house, turn to Acts 10:38 and read where the Bible says “Jesus went about doing good.” We need to follow His example.
Brad, friend, you didn’t die in vain, for some have been made to realize what a sorry example of Christianity they have been. May we not be a Priest or Levite, but a Good Samaritan.