Originally published on Inspire a Fire – January 20, 2021
Normally, I’m a word girl.
I love a compelling story, shared with captivating words and an ending that satisfies the soul.
But sometimes, I run across a picture so powerful, no words are needed.
Like a great book, one snapshot in time can satisfy the soul, confirming all we believe to be right in this world.
Here is one such picture. It takes my breath away, for all the right reasons.
My son, Andrew, with his son, Walker James, both serving as pallbearers to lay a dear man to rest.
It will be years, decades even, before Walker fully understands the depths of love in this one photograph as he escorted his great-grandfather and namesake to his final resting place.
When the time comes, this is the story that will be shared.
James Curtis Lewis spent the largest portion of his nearly 93 years living in Alabama, where he worked for the Alabama Power Company and attended the Northport Church of Christ with his family. In his later years, he and Jane, his lovely wife of 66 years, relocated to Nashville, TN, to live with their daughter, Sharon.
In 2018, a few months after their great-grandson Walker was born, sweet Jane passed on to be with Jesus.
It was then that Walker and his Pawpaw formed a strong and beautiful bond. Two gentle souls, separated by 90 years.
By the time 2020 bulldozed its way through with its restrictions and forced isolation, James and Walker James still had each other. Bright spots in a confusing and unpredictable time.
Though his health waned through a tumultuous year, James’s spirit and smile remained strong as he spent a wonderful Christmas Eve with members of his family.
But 2020 refused to end quietly.
On Christmas Day, downtown Nashville was rocked by an explosion, knocking out most communications in the city for days. The chaos that followed was especially unsettling at a time meant for celebration and togetherness.
The following day, James Lewis slipped away to join his sweet wife in Heaven.
It was difficult to spread the word with communications still limited in that particular region of the country.
With the remaining threat of a stubborn pandemic, the decision was made to hold a modest but beautiful graveside service to honor James in his hometown of Northport, Alabama.
James Curtis Lewis was a man who loved and served his family well. Like a great book, he led a life that satisfies the soul.
With the love of family already embedded in him, his great-grandson, Walker James, is picking up where his great-grandfather left off. Serving his family so well.
Especially during times of uncertainty, this one photograph proves everything we know to be right with the world.
And it completely satisfies my soul.