My sweet cousin’s daughter traveled to Las Vegas with her husband and friends, to attend the Route 91 Harvest Festival last week. It was Sunday, their wedding anniversary. “Happy 23 years to us!! Here’s to 23 years more!”
Less than an hour later, the shooting began. Like many in the crowd, they initially thought it was fireworks, but then Laurie felt a bullet whiz by her shoulder. As bullets sprayed around them, they fell to the ground. Jack laid on top of Laurie to shield her and said, “Laurie, I love you.” She said, “I love you too,” then boom — he was hit.
“He was dying on top of me. I told him I loved him and I would see him in heaven.” Friends urged her to take shelter, and one of their friends tried to pull Jack by the hand, but he appeared lifeless.
Today, just six days later, was his memorial service. Midway through the service it was announced that his body had just been released and was in transit from Las Vegas.
What was most remarkable about this man were his many friends who shared ways he had been their hero through life. One had been bullied by others at school, but Jack would come to his defense with a big smile, put his arm around him and tell the others to “knock it off, he’s a great guy!” And they would.
One friend said, “Of course his love for Laurie was paramount in his thoughts and actions. But if she hadn’t been there, I feel certain Jack would have done the same thing for anyone in that crowd of 22,000 people. He was the kind of person that put others and their needs above himself. The instinct to protect was written in Jack’s DNA.”
A cousin wrote, “‘There is no greater love than to give one’s life for a friend.’ To save the life of your wife, the mother of your children, is such a profound, beautiful Christian act of love. He is a model for all of us.”
- My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13
SONG: PLEASE HUG THEM – Lyrics by Liana Wendy Howarth, music by Kathleen