A dear friend of mine just lost his dad in a tragic accident. In just a moment life turned upside down and several members of this family were in immediate and critical danger. His dad put his life on the line to help his granddaughter to safety, and in the process lost his own life.

When we received the news we were stunned, and Richard and I and others in our family stopped to pray, but there were no words.

There’s just something about death that makes you look at life.

When I first met my friend the first thing I thought was “this is a man of integrity”. The second thing I thought was that this was a person who loved his family. That love isn’t just splashed with photos and witty sayings on Facebook, it’s integrated into his relationship with his wife and young son and daughter. He lives a life that says “you matter” even though he’s in ministry and that demand pulls on him.

When I met his dad a few years ago, I got it.

He had learned the art of loving and living well from his dad. His father loves his son and grandchildren and daughter-in-law fiercely. I learned later they called him the gentle giant. A trait that could easily describe his son, my friend.

He loved God, and it was reflected in his life more than in his church attendance. It showed up in his words. In his actions. And in the end, he gave his life for those he loved.

What an example of how to love in all the right ways.

Lord, may I love my children and husband and grandbabies in such a way that my words are not needed. May generations after seek you because of my love for you. There are times I fail but today is a new day. Thank you for each one of my beautiful family members. Let me truly love them with your love, in Jesus’ name.