As I watched the life celebration of the fallen police officer on the newscast, I was amazed by the influence the young man of 37 already had had upon the community. He had been in service for 12 years, shot down in the line of duty. But during his life here on earth, he had a major impact on many – within his family, church and the local community. Thousands attended the funeral service in person. Many more watched as I did on one of the three local TV stations covering the broadcast from the church. (Later, the car procession from the church to the cemetery, following the casket, was an hour long on the interstate.)
As the sheriff, father, brother and church pastor each spoke in turn, a major portion of the young man’s life was shared with thanksgiving, appreciation, and acknowledgment of the years he had, touching others’ lives in a very positive way. His profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was publicly pronounced as well, for he had been one known to live out his Christian faith, through demonstrating his own love and commitment to those around him. He had touched lives. He had influenced many.
Many books are written about those who have gone before us, who had set their hearts to accomplish the purpose for which they had been born. I would imagine few knew what that purpose was as they first started out, but as they grew, the realization of their gifts and talents they had been given were made known to them. They then wasted little time in taking their place and walking out their call. Thus their names are remembered in the historical records that commemorate their achievements.