Today the folks who knew wore purple at my church. As I looked out across the auditorium from the platform it occurred to me that it didn’t seem strange or odd for us to do that. That’s who we are. Tears were welling up as I felt the love of my church for this man. We found out just about 5 weeks ago that one of our dear ministry leaders was diagnosed with an aggressive pancreatic cancer. The prognosis was that he had about 6 months to a year to live. Two days ago hospice was called in and had narrowed that time down to hours. The Lord says that death of his saints is precious. That might alarm and offend someone but think about it. Death means that his children are home. What loving parent doesn’t long for their child to come home?
The stories I am learning about Brother Buck still amaze me. He was an unassuming matter of fact man that cheered on the work of our church and the members who were saved or got back in their race. Few knew until the end how far this man had climbed in his field and how much he had accomplished outside of church. Much of his last conversations were about going on with the work and about the church he loved.
There was a strength and steadiness about him and a gentle quietness about his serving the Lord that was inspiring. That is why everyone rallied around this dear man wearing purple today to support him as his life hung in the balance. It’s what we do. Whether it’s by the bedside or roadside we love and serve each other. We have been taught well by people who have raced before us to be there when one has a need. We have been shown by example to love and serve. We have been taught to be thankful not for what we have but for the GOD who gave us everything.
He had just retired in January and was given a clean bill of health at that time. Just a few days after finding out he was going to go to heaven much sooner than anticipated. He spoke to the church only a few days after hearing the news. You can listen or watch here.
Keep Reaching Forward (choose audio or video version)
His message was much like his life. Straighforward, kind, strong and wise words flowed from him that day. He had very little strength to deliver them and you could tell he wanted to share this great and beautiful tragedy with us. He was ready to go home but for the sake of the Kingdom and much still to do in his family he was also willing to try to stay as long as he could. Treatments were started but his body was so compromised by the cancer and his life was diminishing daily. It became evident he would be going home very soon.
What a testimony and life he had. What a race he ran! What a place that will be empty for someone else to fill in the gap. His life makes me question my own brief time left and my purpose in the Kingdom. I want to serve with passion, character and great expectation! I humbly desire in a small way to honor the GOD who loves me beyond what I can ever comprehend. We weep temporally and rejoice eternally with Brother Buck. We are not saying good bye! We are saying see you later dear Godly man and friend to Harvest, Brother Buck.
(at 12:45 pm today Brother Buck exchanged one glory for another that we can only imagine. He is home with our Father and Lord.)