Jonathan Chadwick Sullivan
2.19.74 - 10.1.06
Three years ago this morning it was a clear and beautiful Sunday. The sky was without a single cloud, and so bright and blue it almost hurt to gaze upon. A gorgeous Lord's Day...the day my brother went home to be with Jesus...
May I tell you a quick story, to honor him today?
Chad, late in his illness, had to have brain surgery to remove a tumor. After the surgery, he insisted on being at his house down on the lake, so we all had to take shifts in the weeks after he got home. He was not to be left unattended, doctor's orders. One evening, I was down at the lake taking a shift. I had been, for some time, feeling a tremendous burden to talk to Chad about the Lord. Pridefully, I had considered myself the more spiritually mature of the two of us, and I was just sure he needed my infinite wisdom...(gag). Now, remember, Chad is my older brother, and little sisters sometimes have a hard time confronting their big brothers on matters such as these. Chad bowed to receive Christ years before me, but his walk had been different than mine to some degree. It was changing, I sensed. So, I tread as lightly as I could and began to ask him some rather pressing questions about his relationship with Christ, and what He believed God was doing in the journey. As he saw where I was headed with the conversation, he quickly cut to the chase, as Chad was known to do. He looked me dead in the eye...
"Marti, there's something you need to know. God and I have an understanding. If He wants me to live, then I am ready to live. But, if He wants me to die, then I am ready to die."
I was furious.
How dare he give up? How dare he even consider accepting defeat? How dare he not muster up all the faith and conviction he could to save his own life? How dare he not shore himself up for the fight? How dare he not think of his family, and what he would leave behind? How dare he think of the Father above all else? How dare he commit his life unto death to our Savior? How dare he say "Have thine own way, Lord?" How dare he do exactly what the Lord asks of us each and every day by laying down his life and following Him? How dare he?
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it;
but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."
That evening, unbeknownst to me, Chad gave me the greatest gift I have ever received aside from my salvation in Christ. I cling to that night almost daily, remembering in peace that Chad was ready to do what the Father called him to do.
Can I just share with you? I'm so proud.
I celebrate the life of Chad Sullivan today...all the wit...all the charm...all the brains...all the valour...all the courage...all the strength...all the grace...Only through Jesus...
I am better to have known and loved you, brother. See you soon...
Only through Jesus.