A Brilliant Mind

Last Saturday, I helped one of my oldest and dearest friends lay her husband to rest. I loved that man like a brother. He could weave the most magnificent tales, argue politics until you crumpled, and outrun his dogs in a footrace to the end of the dock while bellowing, “Rumbo, rumbo, hey, Poppa Joe,” at the top of his lungs.

She and I are really hurting—not because he left this world too soon or because their three children really need their father or because we’ll never hear his boisterous laugh again.

We’re hurting because we’re not entirely sure we’ll see him again in Heaven. He was a professed atheist, attending church from time to time to make his family happy. But, that was the only reason. Born in Wales, he never embraced the American South’s whole-hearted Bible Belt style of religion. His heart rested with his books, research, music and sports.

On his deathbed in extreme pain, he called on God to save him. Was this enough? I have to believe it is.