Words can be brutally forceful and full of strength, but in other instances they seem so inadequate. Mark Twain said: “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightening and a lightening bug.”
When I gather with Johnny’s family today, “goodbye” is a lightening bug. How do you say goodbye to a lifelong friend like him?
- I honestly can’t remember a time when I did not know him
- I went door to door as a kid and sold the TV Guide, and Johnny bought them
- When my dad died, Johnny was one of the first people at the house to see if he could help my mother and her three young sons.
- He let me live, rent free, in one of his houses for a couple of months.
- He worked side by side with me for the 25 plus years I’ve been the pastor of FCC.
I have walked with Johnny in both times of sorrow and joy. I have seen him bury a son, his wife, a daughter-in-law, and another son, and I’ve seen him fight cancer and there was never a time his faith wavered.
I think “thanks” is more appropriate than “goodbye.” So, today, I give thanks to God for my memories of Johnny, and I thank Johnny for taking the time to make them.