The president of my graduating class at Dorman, Reid Bowyer, passed yesterday. He had been fighting brain cancer. And even though he passed at the age of 46, he left such a legacy of glorifying God with his life and demonstrating the gospel clearly in his live for others. What a perfect verse this seemed when I opened the Bible app ands it was sitting there waiting for me:

Those who are [spiritually] wise will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead many to righteousness, [will shine] like the stars forever and ever.
Daniel 12:3 AMP
https://bible.com/bible/1588/dan.12.3.AMP

Reid just “got it” and was wise in spiritual things and was a Fisher of men, even in school. He never seemed to veer off course,  but was a lighthouse to many. He was popular because he was a natural leader who was just, honest, fair and humble. He clearly loved the Lord and loved people. I look at Reid’s life example, and I can’t help but see Christ woven into all of it.

And even though I know that I should compare myself to Christ and be humbled, rather than compare myself to a man of flesh and blood which might cause envy, shame, pride or many other bad things — in this time, I honor Reid by recognizing how his life fits today’s verse, and how he has served as a mentor, as a lighthouse for many to see and to avoid crashing our lives upon the rocks. And I find confidence and assurance almost hearing in my mind’s eye “Well done, Reid, my good and faithful servant.”

What an amazing testimony to God that He can use someone like Reid in a life long influence, similar to a Samuel who was dedicated to living and serving the Lord from birth. And how amazing that God could use someone like me, more like the demoniac who couldn’t be bound or the woman caught in adultery as well to tell all what Jesus has done for them after their deliverance.

And it is right that people like Reid with life long walks of serving the Lord and leading others to Him should shine brightly in the heavens and be rewarded greatly — even while there are also so many who “just barely make it through the gate by the skin of their teeth”. The greatest treasure seems getting to be at Jesus’s feet like Mary and the children and so many who clamored just to get close to Him. If His radiance wears off on us for being in His presence and we shine, I have to admit that my longing for Him is the cause of any brightness.

I think that Reid would have told you that He just wanted to be with Jesus, and that in loving and serving others — he was serving His Lord and Savior each time. Because those people bear the image of the Lord. I think that Reid would have hoped and prayed for a steady and consistent Christian life more like Samuel, but would have been aware of his similarities to the demoniac and adulteress in some areas of his life as well. But it doesn’t matter what I think, or what I say — it matters what the Lord did in the life of Reid, and through him in the lives of so many.

Thank you, Lord, for using your servant Reid Bowyer so clearly and greatly in a way that any distractions of self and weaknesses and ego disappeared in the brightness of him glowing from being in your presence. Help us to enter into that same place with you daily, not so that we can look at ourselves shining brightly, but so that we can set our eyes on you and that your light (not our own) can be the beacon drawing others to safety in the storm. We know that our days are numbered, Lord, and as much as Reid longed to remain here for his family and for the gospel to go forth through him, I’m sure he also longed for that day where he could be fully in your presence and away from the sin, sickness, suffering and pain on this side of glory. Help us to be balanced and mindful of both the purpose and urgency of the now, and the promise and hope of the future. And thank you for previous vessels like Reid where you have let us see your image so clearly throughout our lives, leading us home. Amen.