One year ago I wrote about how I met John and Maetta Craig and where that meeting eventually led.
I sobbed at the reality of sweet and mighty Maetta losing a second husband to cancer.
I sobbed when telling Annie this story that Pastor Jack told;
When Jack first met John, he had an ugly pony tail. Jack thought John looked terrible, he was graying and balding and Jack assumed John was a former hippie that couldn’t get away from his past. Eventually they became close friends for many years.
John’s first wife battled cancer too and at one point the cancer caused her to lose chunks of her face. On the day of the funeral Jack met John early in the morning and noticed that John had cut off his pony tail. Jack asked him why. John said he didn’t need it anymore, he only had it because he thought it would make people look at him and think he was crazy instead of staring at his wife. In all the years of their friendship John never felt the need to tell Jack that.
I hope I would grow a pony tail for Annie.
I sobbed because John said his most significant accomplishment was starting Young Life in Noblesville, which he did as a 78 year old. I remember 18 months of late nights away from my family driving to Noblesville to meet with a group of people that I was never sure could really get YL off the ground. I was reminded that those sacrifices were worth it.
I wept with pride seeing 25 year old Michael Redding speaking at John’s funeral at his request. Michael has become one of the most important voices in the community of Noblesville, not just with High School kids.
I cried at the thought of seeing committee member Cathie Mills watching Michael’s baby Paxton so Michael could speak at the funeral. Cathie has been faithful to Noblesville YL from day one. She probably had hopes that her son would be involved with YL and he hasn’t really, but her faithfulness and generosity hasn’t wavered.
I bawled about Maetta telling me that John requested the cross that the YL committee and leaders had given him only week earlier when they came to his house to sing worship songs with them, be placed in the casket with him. Maetta said the cross in the casket gave her the chance to tell everyone at the funeral about Young Life.
We make great sacrifices for kids and the Gospel, but it is worth it. It may be lonely at times, but we are never alone.