On Tuesday, my brother-in-law stood for over 5 hours comforting the 1,000 people who came to mourn Holly’s death. The faces were devastated in that line, and yet Jeff greeted every single one gently, never rushing anyone despite the fact that the line stretched out the door the entire time.
Throughout these days, he has cried whenever he needed to. He never bottles up his emotions and tried to tough it out and show how strong he is. He doesn’t have to. We all knew he was a strong guy, but this is the real deal, the kind where he’s so secure with who he is that he doesn’t have to prove anything. He has always set a great example for his son, and now, in the awful circumstances, he continues to be exactly the father that brave and good kid needs.
Yesterday, I posted. He read. And he loved his wife’s service. In the face of my presumption, he remained gentle, kind, and perfectly OK to agree to disagree.
He could’ve been pretty pissed at me, and that would have been understandable and OK. He isn’t. I am humbled.
Some powerful grace is infusing this guy. If you’re a pray-er, please keep him in your prayers, and if you’re not, please know that in the face of all the terrible cynicism and just plain mean-spiritedness that we see all around us, there’s hope through some pretty extraordinary people out there.
Jeff is one of them.