While researching the topic of "goodness" as one of the fruits of the Spirit I came across the following definition on www.discipleshiptools.org- "Goodness is the fruit that virtue and the rest of characters combine to produce endearment. It is the character that makes people liked and even lovable by others." The example of "goodness" that I'd like to give to you this morning weighs heavy on my heart. I hope it will speak to you.
News has travelled quickly this week through the small town in which I live that a young man most all of us knew has passed away. Jette was the very definition of "goodness". He was a Christian and and active church goer. Jette excelled in practically everything he attempted both in sports and academics. He had movie star good looks and was that boy that all the young girls in town would swoon over (even if quietly so). My own nieces- when they were about 4 and 6- told me that one day they'd marry Jette. Jette was well mannered and well spoken. He had a kind heart and often times would play his guitar at church during the service. He was the type of boy that parents would dream of as a husband for their daughters and that every girl would dream of as a spouse.
Jette was in his twenties and had moved on from our small town to go to college and pursue a career in the medical field. He was married to a lovely, young girl last December. On Wednesday of this week whispers started filling the air through the town of Rogersville... "Have you heard about Jette?" I accidentally walked into a conversation about this while standing in line to fill out paperwork at a local business. It was spoken about just loudly enough for me to hear. I immediately jumped in with complete shock, "WHAT?! Jette? I know him. What happened?" One of the greatest tragedies in life, I believe, is when a young person dies. You immediately feel the void that their absence leaves and you can't help but wonder what mark they would have continued to make on this earth had they stayed. All I have heard people discuss this week is what a "good kid" and a "good young man" he was. Jette wasn't even aware, but he has left a legacy behind and been a role model for young men after him to live up to.
"Goodness" in people seems to be a fading quality. I just remember thinking how sweet it is that everyone remembers Jette in the same way I do. That megawatt smile, his laugh, his kindness, his goodness. The Love of his Lord simply radiated through him. You couldn't help but be affected.
Jette's absence has been felt by many and will continue to be felt. It's troubling to lose someone who brought such goodness into this world.... a world which seems to be so empty, and selfish, and harsh. Each of us should hope that when our time comes to leave from this earth that those who knew us will be able to say about us, "He was such a good man." or "She was such a good woman." Jette was a perfect example of God's goodness. He will be greatly missed.
(Thank you to Ashley Goan for permission to use her prom pic with Jette from 2007)