I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful 2 Timothy 4:7 (NLT)

Lance Corporal Cameron Babcock, USMC, was buried today. He was almost 20.

I didn’t know Cameron but I sing next to his mom Ann. We sit and freeze together during rehearsal. She’s become a dear friend to me. She was the first person in church to ask what my “story” was and to take the time to really listen. She’s also one year younger than me.

It would take more than one hand to count the number of friends I’ve known who’ve lost children. SIDS, two drunk drivers, heart defect, car accident, suicide, cystic fibrosis, and an accidental shooting.

The death of children is where my theology falls apart. To believe that this child’s life is over–is complete–is something I can’t wrap my mind around. It’s become harder since I have children of my own.

As we watched the video of Cameron’s life and his time serving in Iraq I was struck by how young all those men were, boys really. Young enough to be my sons. The young Marines in dress blues who came to honor Cameron and share their stories and their grief… So much responsibility, so much life for such young men.

Yet something even more powerful came home to me during Cameron’s funeral. The power of story. I came to know Cameron through his funeral, through the stories people told, through the video his dad Jeff put together. And it made me realize the power and the burden we as writers have to share people’s stories, to continue their lives onto others through words.

Cameron’s story isn’t over today. And neither is anyone else’s if we’re faithful to share it, to allow that story to continue to touch lives.

Mission completed, Solider. Well done, good and faithful servant.