Paradoxes are a reality of life. Within them contain the essence of life and death, and to understand their power is to begin to understand a portion of the mind of God. The mind of God is unsearchable, but he gives us keen insights as we learn to love and fear him. To fear God is the beginning of wisdom. Fear is a most holy reverence for who he is, and to love him before anything else. I have written one book, “God’s Mysteries and Paradoxes: Looking Through the Glass Darkly,” and have begun a second, “Living a Life of Opposites: The Power of the Paradox” to bring some light as to how God’s ways are completely opposite to the ways of man.
Unforgiveness is like drinking poison hoping the other person dies.
Mandella proved the power of forgiveness and his country has reaped the reward.
Lucas loved to sing, and from an early age and had a good voice. He would correct me when I would try to sing along by saying, “dad you’re off-key!” Perhaps because of his talent, he became the lead singer in a small Christian band called Ictus. Ictus is the symbol for the Christian fish. I now have a tattoo of Ictus on my left shoulder with Lucas’ name in the center of the fish. I will, quite often,take my right hand and tap my left shoulder to let Lucas know I’m thinking of him.
I could spend days talking about all the things Lucas loved to do like turkey hunting, duck hunting, deer hunting, baseball, street hockey and many many more. He simply loved life and loved to try almost everything he saw that was interesting to him.
It happened one night while he was on his way home from a lat-night session with the band He was coming back from Greeneville on I-81. It was rainy and windy that night and as Lucas attempted to turn off the interstate, he apparently overran the exit, oorrected and flipped the truck. According to the officers, the truck rolled several times, throwing Lucas from the truck. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
By mentioning all the good things, I’m not trying to say Lucas did not get into trouble. Lucas was a handful! There was a neighbor who did not the boys in the community to ge in her yard. In fact, she would yell at them. As a result, Lucas and some other boys werre caught peeing on her bushes! There were many other occasions where the boys got in trouble for a number of things and, Lucas especially, hated having to go to the neighbors and apologize.
There is not a day when I don’t think of Lucas. I love him so much. As most parents who read this know, theree is a hole in my heart that can’t be filled. It has been extremely difficult writing these few things about Lucas’ life. Lucas lived life at such a pace it seemed that he had to live his whole life in 20 years. I thank God for the 20 years I had with him. He made me proud just being his dad. He had a charm about him that made him very popular with the girls. At the funeral, at least 10 girls came by who said they had been his girlfiriend. I’m sure they weree all his girlfiriends.
Lucas sat out a year after high school and did many of the things he loved. I’m glad he did. At the time of his death he was attending Walters State Community College. He planned on transferring to the University of Tennessee where he was to become a Tennessee Wildlife Resource Officer.
There are many things in life I do not understand. Why does a young man of 20 years of age have to die when it seems his whole life is ahead of him? I hav no answer,but, by faith, I know God knows the answer. It is hard for us to accept something like this being the best thing for Lucas, but God doesn’t make mistakes, and He knows what is best for us and our children. Besides Lucas, I have two other incredible children and five beautiful grandchildren.
One observation I must share is that Lucas wanted to be an organ donor. He wanted to help others in case something like this ever happened. The people came to “harvest” the organs said that Lucas had a bleeding vein in his left leg, and severe build-up o plaque in the heart as a result of severe scaring inside his heart. The tube and the needle i his tiny body still had effects 20 years later. God doesn’t make mistakes. We almost lost Lucas at birth, but God gave us 20 wonderful years to e
Lucas was the most beautiful child I had ever seen! He had big brown eyes and hair that was thick and dark. He had olive skin and tanned easily. The joy he brought us was extraordinary. As he grew, he became even more handsome, and started to exhibit his love for the outdoors. I can remember taking him fishing and having to change his diaper on the bank of the lake. Late at night when he would wake up he would call, “mommy, come and lay down with me.” It sounded like a little song, “mommie, come and laaaaay downnn with meeee.” When he was asked why he wanted us to come and lay down with him, he would say, “but mommie, I’m just a little boy!” As Lucas grew, he became even more of an outdoor person. He rarely spent time indoors, and when he did, it was usually raining outside, and he was building a fort out of cushions and blankets inside. When Lucas’ sister was born, she became as feminine as Lucas was masculine. Lucas, however, had Lydia doing all the things he liked to do outside. When Lucas was in the 6th grade, he wanted to be black. He started wearing do-rags and would pull one pants leg up to the knee. He even developed a neat swagger. When Lucas had a do-rag on his head, his sister Lydia had to have one on her head. Quite honestly, they look really cute together with their do-rags on their heads, their arms crossed, and their heads in a cocky position! Did I say Lucas was independent? He was! It was always a chore trying to convince Lucas of anything. He seemed to know things from osmosis rather than learning them in the normal way. He learned everything about the outdoors including the names of trees, the infinite variety of ducks, the migration patterns of Canadian geese and the best ways to catch large-mouth bass. Lucas and I fished in many bass tournaments. We started out with a 14′ Stott Craft boat with a 35 HP Evinrude motor, but later had to get a 18′ Stratus with a 250 HP Mercury outboard. Lucas said we had to be able to keep up with the big boys! Lucas didn’t do anything he liked in the normal way. He became almost obsessed with anything new until he mastered it, then he would move on. He liked hockey so we had to get him the right kinds of skates (Nike Pro) and all the equipment. Additionally, since there was no ice in our town, we traveled to Knoxville. Ice time was hard to get so we ended up watching his games at 11:00 p.m or 6:00 a.m., along with Matt Kight’s parents, Frank and Michelle. As usual, he became good at it then lost interest after about two years. After hockey it was bull riding. We didn’t live on a farm but Lucas found a friend who had a farm and decided he wanted to go live with him. That didn’t happen, but Lucas worked for his friend’s dad hauling hay, cleaning stalls and anything else he could do around the farm. As time passed, he had to have Wrangler jeans, Rocky boots and big, qaudy belt buckles. Lucas would watch the bull riding programs on television. From that, he created his own mechanical bull with a large barrel and ropes to shake it. Once, he and his friends had the barrel tied to trees in the fence row. Little did they know that it was in a place covered with poison oak. All of Lucas’ friends got poison oak, but Lucas didn’t get a speck of it. That was another thing about Lucas. He was a leader. His friends were all boys older than him, but he would organize them and have them doing all kinds of things according to the way he wanted them done. he was a leader in every thing he attempted. I loved fishing and wasn’t much of a hunter, but Lucas loved hunting. His grandparents had several acres of land on Cherokee Lake so he had a good place to hunt turkey and deer. He once told me that he really thought if he was dropped off in the woods, he could survive quite well. I never doubted that. Once we went deer hunting after an unsuccessful turkey season. We always went into the woods well before day-break. On morning while Lucas sat in his tree stand, and the sun started to rise, we looked up to see large flock of wild turkey rousting in his tree and several others around us. Go figure! Lucas turned to me, smiled and just shook his head! Lucas was into everything it seemed. He would get up before dawn and just fall into bed at night. I asked him one time why he had to go so hard, and his answer was, “that’s just what teenagers do dad! One day he came home and asked me this question. “Guess what I’m going to do tonight?” “No telling, but what?”,I replied. “I’m going coon hunting with some friends.” “They have a super coon hunting dog, and we are going to watch it tree a coon.” That was the beginning of another great passion for Lucas; “coon hunting.” Naturally, Lucas couldn’t do it without being completely immersed in the sport. He bought a dog that had the name, “two face.” It was an English, white with red spots, but hits face was completely red on one side of its face and white on the other,hence, “two face.” Lucas even took the sport to the national coon hunting championships and was seen on ESPN. That is one of my great regrets in life—that I never did go coon hunting with Lucas. He asked that I go with him a couple ff times and once right before his death. I wish I had but now I will never have the chance. The last thing Lucas developed was a passion for singing and playing the guitar. I will finish my tribute to Lucas tomorrow.
Lucas was my son. He left us on February 4, 2003. This is his story.
Lucas was born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1982 at 6:37 a.m. He was 2 weeks late according to the calculations by the obstetrician. As a result, he had aspirated muconium, a tar-like substance which coats the lungs and limits the exchange of oxygen. He had to stay in the hospital for an extra two weeks. During that time, the doctors had to put a tube directly in his heart and a needle in his left leg to inject medication. After much prayer by many churches in the community, Lucas made a remarkable recovery.
Lucas’ untimely death on February 14, 2003 sent me into a deep emotional abbiss lasting for more than a year. Read how this became the inspiration for God’s Mysteries and Paradoxes: Looking Through the Glass, Darkly.”
Starting next week I will be discussing some of the mysteries and paradoxes contained in my new book. Please follow each week and add your insight into the discussions.
Unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies. Agustine