Charlie Wasson, Man of Peace

If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Luke 10:6

This will probably be the hardest devotional of the 2300 I’ve written to this point. You see, Charlie Wasson, a man I barely knew, passed into eternity on Saturday. I say I barely knew him but in reality he’s the kind of person we all would like to get to know. I met him while I was living in Hagerstown. We both sang the same part in our Barbershop Chorus and we sat beside each other often, so I was able to get a closeup glimpse of Charlie. For a moment, though, I’d like to forget the singing and the harmony, and focus on the man.

Rarely do we get a chance to meet people who are genuinely, 100% at peace with themselves and the world. In 50 years, I’ve met two in my life; Charlie was one of them. It wasn’t that he raised the 60s peace sign and went about protesting all that was wrong with the world, though he could have done that. His peace was quiet and unassuming, but it spoke volumes about his daily walk with Christ.

Charlie Wasson embodied the verse: “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” of Colossians 3:15. Everything about him exuded peace and wisdom: the way he talked, the way he sang, the way he encouraged others, even the way he smiled. When he spoke, I literally leaned in to listen. If he had a sore word about someone, well, I never heard it.

The cliche still works: those who knew Charlie will dearly miss him. In a world that is often chaotic and confused, Charlie was one man doing what he could with the resources he had to bring a little bit of peace and sanity to it.

Nothing earth shattering. Nothing ground breaking. Timely words of wisdom. The simple Peace of Christ ruling in his heart.

At times like this I am reminded of Evangelist D.L. Moody’s famous quote,

“Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now; I shall have gone up higher, that is all, out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal- a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body.

I was born of the flesh in 1837. I was born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit will live forever.”

Charlie’s spirit is alive right now, more so than when he walked and sang on this Earth. We grieve along with his family and are saddened at our loss, but rejoice at his gain.

I guess it’s a lesson for us all, that character is far more important than we care to admit.

I often joked with Charlie that when I grew up I wanted to be like him.

Well, for once in my life, I think I really meant it.

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