Go home, Chuck.

I had suggested to a friend at work that in order to get such a dedicated man like Chuck Hiatt to finally leave on his well-earned sabbatical, we should put a piece of paneling over his office door with a plant in front of it and a sign that said “GO HOME!”

Before he departed on the well-deserved vacation of a lifetime to Israel, I had the pleasure of sparring with Chuck.  He was my boss and what we learned about each other over those five months assured me that trustworthy men…though now  in lesser numbers.. do, indeed, still exist.

Sparring is hard work.  Good men test each other’s mettle.   I have no regrets about having done so with Chuck. For the work to know the heart, mind and soul of someone I could count as trustworthy and about whom I was excited at the prospect of adding to my short list of  friends was well worth the effort.  Though now, with his sudden passing, I will never know him better, I believe I got the best of him within a very  short time.

Without a doubt, there are countless others who are much more experienced with Chuck, have known him longer and been through more with him than I ever have had or will ever have the pleasure.  But albeit short, my experience with him was very rich.  You never truly know someone until you watch how they manage a crisis.  The order of weapons before them presents a choice that tells you what drives them.

Each encounter, Chuck picked the beating heart first, the informed mind second and held the wisdom of God in the other hand each time.  Such a rare find for a man who had so many other implements at his disposal that he consistently and categorically rendered as lesser choices.

That, my friends, is what makes a man great.

Go home, Chuck.

You’ve worked all your life for this.