Marc believed the life he was living wasn’t enough. It wasn’t quite right. There was some truth, some set of ideas which, if known, would make life greatly rewarding. The cost of this pursuit of truth was relationships. Those closest to him were sometimes hurt the most.
We Just Clicked
I met Marc when I dropped in on him while he was running his business back in 1986. He sublet space from us to build his startup which sold a time and billing system for attorneys.
His energy drew me in. We talked for an hour, and I was hooked. I found a man who was in search of truth no matter what the cost. His goal was performance leading to success. He was just like me. We clicked.
I absorbed Marc’s PC business and moved him and the family to Phoenix to run a $35mm company. He did a great job in leading the company to a very successful exit. When he stopped reporting to me, we lost touch.
I’ll Pray for You
Fifteen years later I received an email from Marc. It said, “I have esophageal cancer, and the odds aren’t good. I just wanted you to know.”
I wrote back, “I’ll pray for you.”
He said he really needed the prayers. We arranged a time for me to visit. We talked about his illness and challenges. I gave him a Bible and showed him how to read it. Then I prayed with him and we cried and he thanked me.
We were reconnected. Weekly visits followed. We talked ideas, business and life. It was good to be together again.
Finding and Rejecting Christ
A week before his big surgery, Cathy, Marc and I were sitting in his living room. I was sharing my faith. I told him about the peace of God and the assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Marc listened and then said, “I want that. How do I get it?”
The three of us joined hands on our knees, and Marc gave his life to Christ.
His surgery was a success. He beat the odds. He later gave his testimony at the High Tech Prayer Breakfast to over 1,600 people, including his family. Little did I know how much of an impact his testimony would have on his family long term. Not to mention all the other people in the room.
In a Bible study I was leading in the year that followed, Marc suddenly stood up and exclaimed, “This isn’t factual. These are fictional stories, fables. They are written to simply give us moral lessons.” He never came back, and we fell out of touch again.
The Cancer Returns
Twelve years later, the cancer came back. There was nothing to be done. It was just a matter of time. He could no longer eat solid food and eventually got his nourishment from a feeding tube. He was living out his time in a basement apartment and spending time with friends and family.
But he didn’t give up. He knew he would still beat this thing and get back to normal. The facts just didn’t matter. This was Marc’s heart. Fight, learn, research, fight some more. Never give up.
I was impacted by the love of his family. They never gave up on Marc regardless of the bad times. They always remembered the good times. The kids’ sports, the cheerleading, the trips, the house projects, the love. The simple times together. The memories of a lifetime. The memories of family.
Last Conversation with Marc
The last conversation I had with Marc was amazing. He bragged to me about the sports lineage of his one-week-old grandson, Mac. I heard about his grandfather who was an All-State lineman for Indiana and his own achievement of All-State running back in 1970. That he was captain of the Indiana football team and graduated with better than a 3.2.
He asked me to speak at his “event.” He said, “I know you will talk about what’s important.”
“Really?” I said. “So what is important to you? What should I talk about?”
He said, “Tell my family about Jesus.”
The Prodigal Returns
I asked him to tell me about his relationship with Jesus. He said he gave his life to Christ back in 2004 in his living room with Cathy and me. Then, as he got better, his intellect got in the way again. “I back slid,” he said.
He told me over time he knew he needed to return to Jesus but was afraid. He was afraid Jesus wouldn’t take him back. One day he worked up the courage to ask Jesus to forgive him. He did, and that’s why Marc died in peace and lives today with Christ.
Marc Demonstrates the Gospel
Marc found the truth in the end. Christ said, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one gets to the Father except through me.”
Marc, like you and me, was more sinful than he dared to believe. But we are all more loved than we dare to hope.