How well do we know others including our family, friends, and/or acquaintances? I suspect that we know family members reasonably well, friends, or at least some friends, fairly well, and acquaintances with some degree of familiarity. But how well do we really know them and why would I ask this question?
John Bustard, fellow VFW member and Commander of American Legion Post 66 of which many of us are members, ‘crossed the bar’ on 16 May. His memorial service was held on Tuesday, 21 May, with many of us in attendance. How well did we know John? During his eulogy presented by family members and friends, I heard about John the father, John the husband, John from Grosse Point Michigan, John the fisherman, John the hunter, John the Navy corpsman, John the Boeing employee, John the shooter, John the grandfather, et al. From these ‘snapshots’, one gets a glimpse – a picture – of the real John. It became readily apparent, people knew John at different times in his life and, therefore, in different situations. However, there seemed to be a visible and common thread – a theme – that ran through John’s life. John strongly believed in serving others. John served his God, his family, his country, his friends, and youth.
I found all who eulogized John truthful, thoughtful, insightful, and inspiring. However, I was left with the impression that no one really knew the whole or real John – his heart, soul, and mind; his desires, dreams, and beliefs; his loves, passions, and goals. His wife, Anna, probably came closest. This is not intended as a criticism; it is just a fact of life. The only One who really knows and understands a person is Our Lord. He knew each person before he or she was born; knows everything about a person throughout life – his or her heart, soul, and mind; his or her desires, dreams, and beliefs, and his or her loves, passions, and goals. Additionally, Our Lord will be with each of us when called upon to ‘cross the bar’. On the Tomb of the Unknown Solider is written, “…Known but to God.” I would suggest that each of us in life and in death is “Known but to God.” Trusting that the Lord knew (and knows) John – body, soul, and spirit – I strongly believe that He has said unto him, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…..” (Matthew 25:21).
On this Memorial Day, please remember John and your other comrades who have ‘crossed the bar’! Also, please pray for our troops and their families.