Fame not necessary to impact lives

Curtis Shelburne

Like most folks who were alive at the time, I remember exactly where I was when we got the news that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. I was just six years old, but I remember.

Like most of you, I remember where I was and what I was doing when on September 11, 2001, the pictures started streaming across our television screens of those planes slamming into the Twin Towers.

And though I know most of the world can’t be expected to know or remember where they were on last Saturday morning, it was at around 9:00 that morning when I got word of June Conway’s passing, and I will always remember it vividly. I was standing on the second floor walkway getting ready to come down the stairs of a motel at Fredericksburg, Texas, and my cell phone rang, and it was June’s husband, Wes, with the news.

The Sunday morning after we got home was strange. It was all the more strange because so many things about it seemed normal. And it was stranger still to realize that most of the world didn’t even know the world had changed.

The sun came up that morning just as usual. It started for me early as most Sundays do. I groaned at the sound of the alarm, rolled out of bed, and headed for the shower as usual.

I admit that what happened in the quiet solitude of the shower was pretty unusual. Much more saltwater than usual washed from my eyes and mingled with the rinse water and gurgled down the drain. I doubt it hurt anything. Tears are not toxic waste; they are precious.

I dressed and headed to McDonald’s as usual. Ordered at the “drive thru” as usual. Raised my hand in a wave to the faithful group of Sunday morning coffee-drinking insomniacs as usual. Opened up the church door, turned on the lights, headed to my study. All as usual.

You’d almost think that the whole world hadn’t changed.

But it did change.

It wasn’t because a world leader was assassinated. It wasn’t because an event as cowardly and shameful as it was terrible had rocked the world again.

The world had changed for me, and for others like me, because one dear unassuming, gentle, humble, winsome, loving and lovely lady who had always been part of my life was suddenly gone. For my family, for my church family, and for all who knew her, June was one who best showed us God’s unconditional love and when she filled our lives with her encouragement, we knew without doubt that it came through her from Above. Her hugs were God’s hugs.

Maybe it’s good for us all to be reminded that it’s not at all necessary to be great and powerful to be truly great in showing God’s love. Sometimes just a really good hug will get the job done—and maybe even color somebody’s world beautifully.