Wax, a Rook Deck and Glittering Stars

A new star in a very special crown:  It’s Tuesday.  Tuesday is Rook night at our house, or at least it has been for several years. When I heard of the ‘passing’ of James Milburn, the fourth member of our Rook team, I retired the deck to a shelf.  I knew I wouldn’t be using it again soon.  Beyond being an Army chaplain, a pastor, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and an exceptional Rook player, Jim wore a badge of honor in my eyes.  He was the real deal,a  genuine Christian or a man ‘without wax’.

Tradition indicates the word sincere, comes from the Italian combination of  sin for ‘without’ and ceros for the word ‘wax’–without wax. It seems that when the Romans commissioned marble statues to be carved by Greek artisans, some less-than-honorable men would  fill in any nicks or cracks in the marble carvings with wax, making the imperfections invisible until the the purchaser took possession and the hot Mediterranean sun melted the wax to reveal the gaping holes for all to see.  And so the word sincere or ‘without wax’ has come to mean genuine quality merchandise.

That was Jim–what you saw was what you got, the real deal, no sanctimonious mask but sincere, genuine–quality merchandise.  He was who and what he was–warts, imperfections and all-no wax.  It was his vulnerability and transparent honesty that endeared him to family, friends and parishioners alike.  Stars? He reaped many stars during his short time on Planet Earth, but I salute him how, in a world of shiesters, con men, and phonies coated in the wax of religiosity, he stood out as being sincere, authentic and filled with genuine grace.


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3 Responses to Wax, a Rook Deck and Glittering Stars

  1. betty patten says:

    People like that are a God send. Now a days they are far and few between. I think that God sends them to show us it can be done but only thru a close relationship with Him. The saying “Prayer is the key to heaven but faith unlocks the door” has never been more true then today. God bless you and your family.

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