Wow. Didn't see that coming. At all. I got an email from my mom just last night. I would've never guessed what she said in it. Hard to believe. What a small world.
I didn't know him. Although I feel like I do now. I've heard so much about him in the last four days. He must have made a huge influence on a lot of people. He must have been a great person. It is so obvious from all the reports I've heard and seen that he was a strong Christian with a servant heart. He's being remembered as a hero. As an example. As the kind of person that every set of parents dreams their child will be. I wish I had met him. I think I will. One day. His name was Ty.
If you haven't heard about him, you either don't live here in Middle Tennessee or you've been living under a rock for the last four days. Here's an article from the Tennessean....(click here). Read about him....although I'm sure the article doesn't do him justice. I first heard about him last Saturday night when I read a Facebook post that asked for prayers. I clicked on the post and it took me to a blog asking for "prayers for Ty" and explaining some of what happened. I didn't think much about it really. I said a quick prayer and hoped Ty would pull through, but honestly didn't think I'd hear anymore about it. Boy was I wrong. The next morning, Sunday, I read another post that Ty had passed. I hated that, but again, I didn't know him and didn't think I knew anyone that knew him. Boy was I wrong....again. I kept seeing more and more posts. My friends. My former students. All posting about Ty. I had to ask "Who was this guy?" That morning in church, they announced his passing and the fact that he went to Harding University, attended a local church where I do know a lot of the members, and the fact that several of the guys at our church roomed close to him and knew him well. It was all becoming a little clearer. A lot of people I knew did know him, but it was becoming even clearer that this guy was something special. His passing and who he was became the topic of so many conversations that day. After hearing so many talk about him, I started feeling worse and worse for the family. While I have a small sense of what they are going through....losing a child.....I know it would be much worse losing someone you knew and loved for 18+ years. I don't pretend to know what that's like. It's impossible to imagine. There are no words to make that pain go away. Only the hope of the future. It seems pretty clear that Ty was a godly young man, and I feel certain that he's joined our Father and is now having the time of his life. And again, as I've said before, I'm planning to join him one day. So I do hope to meet him and let him know that he obviously made an impact on a lot of people. But why write about him here? I didn't know him. He didn't know me. We had no real connection, right? Actually, wrong. Back to mom's email.
I was informed last evening by my mom that Ty's great grandmother (Nell Carver Grimes) and my great grandfather (Roy Carver) were brother and sister. Ty was my cousin. A distant cousin, yes, but he was family. In fact our two grandmothers, who are first cousins, spent a lot of time together growing up and still keep in touch. I had no idea. It came as a little surprise, a shock, and it made me hurt a lot more for this family. What a small world. God has created this huge planet with over 7 billion people, but it's really so small. I'm filled with mixed emotions. On one hand, I am humbled and honored to have been related to such a wonderful person. On the other hand, I am deeply saddened that I never got to meet him here on Earth. But another part of me realizes that this world is not the end. This world may seem small sometimes when in reality it's large in size, but the fact is that this world is nothing compared with what lies ahead. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 that the way to get to what lies ahead is small. It's a small path and we have to stay on it. The other way is large and easy, but trust me, you want to stay on that small and narrow path. Ty did. He was a servant. I've seen pictures of him on mission trips. I've read that he donated his organs and had that wish made clear on his license. And it wasn't just what he did. It was who he was. That's obvious from what I've heard about him. He did what it took to be on God's small path and he knew where he was going.
There's room on the small path. Stay on it with me. So that we can see Ty. So that we can see Griffin. So that we can see Jesus. So that we can see our Father whose grace and love makes it all possible.
I wish I had known you Ty. I just found out you were family. But you know what? You were already family. You were my brother in Christ. And I'll join you one day so you can introduce Him to me.
I love God, Griffin, my Girl, and my Guys.
Keep runnin'. The PRIZE awaits. (Php. 3:14)
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