Pray­ing to meet a dy­ing col­league in heaven

The Standard Journal - - POLICE & FIRE - COLLETT Chris Collett is a long­time res­i­dent of Chero­kee County.

Some peo­ple might think that the colum­nists for the Tri­bune and Ledger are well ac­quainted with one another. We’re not. Though I know a cou­ple of them well, there are oth­ers that I have never met. There is no col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the writ­ers as to the sub­ject mat­ter we are go­ing to cover. We are all dif­fer­ent peo­ple with dif­fer­ent ideas and points of view. Each writer has peo­ple that fol­low and support their col­umns. On the flip side, we all have peo­ple that loathe our col­umns and say ugly things about us. There are those that even make it per­sonal when they don’t even know us. Since I don’t know most of the oth­ers per­son­ally, I can’t speak for them. As for me, I wel­come the pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive reviews. Any review means what I’ve writ­ten has been read. That’s a win in my book.

Most weeks, I do take the time to read what my col­leagues have writ­ten be­cause I know the dif­fi­culty it is to pen those words to pa­per. What some may think takes us a few min­utes to put to­gether, at least for me, of­ten takes hours of thought and in­ner strug­gle be­fore the first word is typed. That is only for the first draft. I will re-read what I’ve writ­ten sev­eral times be­fore hit­ting the send but­ton. Maybe it comes eas­ier for the oth­ers. It’s very pos­si­ble I’m just not that smart. But like my Daddy told me many years ago, “I don’t care what you do in life boy. But what­ever it is, do it to the best of your abil­ity.”

This week while scrolling through so­cial me­dia, I saw the pre­view for Melvyn Fein’s col­umn. It said some­thing about get­ting straight to the point. So, I clicked on the col­umn to read what Dr. Fein had to say. He wrote about life and death which is usu­ally in my wheel­house. This one was dif­fer­ent. Dr. Fein says in his col­umn that he has very lit­tle time left on earth as he is suf­fer­ing with in­op­er­a­ble pan­cre­atic can­cer. His words lit­er­ally gave me chills as he talked about dy­ing and his per­spec­tive on the sub­ject. I felt a wave of sad­ness rush

over me when I had fin­ished read­ing. To put it plainly, it tore me up.

Ev­ery colum­nist has had their share of peo­ple who strongly dis­agree with their opin­ions. Some go to the point of name call­ing. Though I am no stranger to re­ceiv­ing hate­ful re­marks, none of us have re­ceived more name call­ing than Dr. Fein. There is no doubt this is due to his strong po­lit­i­cal be­liefs along with his will­ing­ness to put his opin­ions out there for all of us to read. Though I have agreed with some of his thoughts, there have been col­umns he has writ­ten that I have strongly dis­agreed with. To the point of coun­ter­ing his opin­ion in a cou­ple of my own col­umns. You may not know this be­cause I didn’t call him out. That isn’t some­thing I would feel right do­ing.

In Dr. Fein’s col­umn, he refers to him­self as an ag­nos­tic. This is not like an athe­ist that be­lieves there is no God. In very sim­pli­fied terms, an ag­nos­tic will say they don’t know if there is a God or not. This is too im­por­tant to para­phrase. Dr. Fein said in his col­umn, “I do not know if there is a God or a heaven. If there is, I guess I will find out. I also hope that if there is a God, He will be mer­ci­ful enough to for­give my in­ad­e­qua­cies.” My only re­ply to this is He is mer­ci­ful and none of us are ad­e­quate.

If you are a Chris­tian, re­gard­less of your race, gen­der, denom­i­na­tion, po­lit­i­cal be­liefs, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, or any of the other mul­ti­tude of things that make us dif­fer­ent, you will join me in pray­ing for Dr. Fein. If you are a Chris­tian, you will want Je­sus to re­veal Him­self to Dr. Fein in a lov­ing and pow­er­ful way while time per­mits. None of us are guar­an­teed our next breath. If for any rea­son, any of us that call our­selves Chris­tians can’t join to­gether in prayer be­cause of dif­fer­ence of opin­ions, may God Have mercy on our souls. That isn’t Chris­tian­ity and it isn’t love. And God is love.

Dr. Fein, your col­umn re­minded me of the brevity of this life. I pray sir, that I will meet you in heaven.

Collett

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