Death of a Hero

I’m sitting in the computer room in a hotel in Durham, North Carolina.  Tomorrow I have to speak at the graveside funeral of one of my heroes.

My uncle, Glenn Cannon, passed away Wednesday morning.  After waging a war with cancer, it finally won the battle.  But it did not win the war.

One of the best things that I know about being a follower of Jesus is that, no matter what happens to our bodies, nothing can harm our souls.  Cancer wracked his body, but it did not destroy him in the process.  Instead, it released him into the arms of Jesus where he is free from the pain that plagued him these past few years.

Glenn was one of the unfortunate ones who contracted polio as a child back when it was in its heyday.  It left him with a withered arm and an almost unnoticeable limp.  But it did not leave him with a weakened spirit.  He was determined to rise above his circumstances to be the best he could be.

He possessed a particulary gentle and humble spirit.  Even though he could have been bitter about having polio as a child and cancer as an adult, he never complained.  He just kept devoting himself to taking care of others and showing people how much he loved them.

His laugh was robust, his smile was contagious, and his determination was inspiring.  His legacy is one of rising above the challenges of life with faith, hope, and love. 

Although I miss him greatly, my life has been made better by his prescence.  That, I think, is what being a hero is really about.

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