Community has lost friend
Published 12:59 am Monday, July 21, 2008
I didn't know Jake Lewis personally, but I knew him well enough to know that this community has lost a great man.
In my teen years, I knew who Officer Lewis was. He was the man you knew wouldn't think twice before calling your mama and daddy if he caught you doing something you weren't supposed to be doing. I'm not sure that ever happened, but I had a feeling he might be just that kind of man. The kind of man who was always looking out for his fellow man.
I had the honor of being among a large group of Brewton area residents who attended funeral services for Jake Lewis on Friday. I thought I might feel out of place since I didn't know him or his family personally. I didn't feel out of place at all.
This wonderfully, tall, sweet man will certainly be missed by all of those people that have been touched by knowing him, or in my case, even knowing of him.
I grew up in Brewton and have known who Jake Lewis was practically all of my life. Our paths crossed a couple of times with chance meetings at a gasoline station or at city hall over the years. I doubt he knew who I was, but with the reputation the man carried, everyone can probably say they knew him.
As the Rev. H.K. Matthews stood before the large crowd at T.R. Miller High School's auditorium Friday morning, he spoke about the man we were there to honor.
In his address, he spoke about the 10 women in the Bible who were waiting for the bridegroom. Five of those women carried enough oil to last them through their wait while the others foolishly left their supply of oil behind. When the bridegroom came, they weren't ready. They had no oil and were asking to borrow oil from the women who had a supply. The five oil-bearing women did not grant the others' request for oil, but instead told them to find their own oil supply.
Although The Rev. Matthews was reminding folks not to be found lacking when the most important moment of their lives came, I saw Mr. Lewis in every word he said.
In respect to the women who carried their oil supply, I can imagine that Mr. Lewis was always prepared. He is known around town to have been a Christian man and walked in such a way that it was evident to anyone who had the pleasure of sight. I, like many others at Friday's service, truly believe that Mr. Lewis is sitting at the right hand of our heavenly father today. He was ready.
Looking at the other group of women, I also believe that Mr. Lewis would have been the type of man who would have given them oil for their lamps. He was always eager to share a part of himself with others around him who may have been in need. Whether in word or in deed, I believe Mr. Lewis was a giving and forgiving man.
After hearing Mr. Lewis' son, Walter, speak about his father; I have only regret when it comes to my knowledge of the man. I wish I had known him better.
Mr. Lewis was a fine man, no matter what measuring device you use. I have never, in all of my years in this area, heard any unkind word about the man.
As I write this, I feel a great sense of loss in Mr. Lewis' death. A loss for this city, this community, the youth and, of course, his family. But for some reason I feel a great sense of loss for myself.
Rest in peace Mr. Lewis. I hope we meet in heaven and become great, eternal friends.
Lisa Tindell is the news editor for The Brewton Standard. She may be reached by email at email@example.com.