I wanted to share a personal email that my colleague and brother-in-Christ John Lauten sent me yesterday. It is too splendid not to share:
I wanted to tell you of something I saw while at the funeral. The entire sequence was very impressive. I thought God was given the glory through Eddie’s ceremony and the military protocol was incredible and impressive (not to mention the Patriot Guards). But here’s what I really want you to hear.
During the latter part of the grave-side ceremony, while they were finishing folding the flag, I noticed a very large hawk (at first I thought it was an eagle; maybe it was…) gliding just inside the treeline (just beyond where we were). It caught updrafts and effortlessly floated a hundred feet or so above the trees. It didn’t even have to flap it’s wings.
It just soared above the trees, gliding in a symmetric pattern overhead, just inside the treeline. My thoughts turned to Eddie. That’s where he was at that time (and is now): Soaring like an eagle. I was reminded of Isaiah 40:31.
I’m also reminded of of a conversation I had years ago with a very good friend of mine who was dying of cancer. (A close Christian brother–we had flown A-10’s together on several assignments. When I heard he had cancer [in a late stage], I went to see him and we spent several of his final days together). He and I talked about what it was going to be like to be in the presence of God.
An awesome thought.
That’s where Eddie is right now.
I know there’s not much solace in this time of pain, but God’s mercy and grace will endure; and, in time, be sufficient. Meanwhile, Eddie knows first-hand what it’s like to feel the actual presence of God.
My wife and I will continue to pray for you and your family.