Today is the three year anniversary of Randy Moody’s death. His mom and dad, Lora and Don subscribe to my weekly e-mail, as do a few others who knew Randy well and loved him much. Randy and I have been close friends since college days. I did not realize how his death would rock my emotional world. I spoke at his funeral and broke down, weeping and unable to speak at the microphone for almost a full minute. As I wrote three years ago, “To say I will miss Randy Moody is not quite right. I will miss him. But I will not be the same now that he is gone.” So true. Below is my original post about Randy from my blog. That post became a spot for people to remember Randy, getting thousands of hits and producing hundreds of comments posted from literally all over the world. You can also read the article about Randy that ran in The Christian Chronicle here the day after Randy died.
I Am Glad I Got to Walk Part of it with Him
From September 3, 2007
My dear friend Randy Moody is gone.
A brief news item is posted today at the Newnan Times-Herald website. About half hour south of Atlanta, Newnan is one of those small towns that has become a bedroom community.
The article simply says, "A Newnan man in his late 30s or early 40s died of smoke inhalation Saturday from a fire at his home."
I received a call last evening from Lynn Anderson, a mutual friend and mentor to both Randy and me, telling of Randy's death. Early this morning, as I stared at the words on the computer screen, I knew the unidentified man was my friend and preaching colleague.
Randy and I met the first week of school as freshmen in college. We ended up going to grad school together. As seniors we tied for faculty votes as "Outstanding Communication Student of the Year." We received matching plaques and, somewhere, I have a photograph of us smiling and sharing the honor.
Randy had easily become an NCAA National Debate Champion and later coached consistently winning teams from tiny Abilene Christian against powerhouses such as Oklahoma and UCLA. And when he turned his focus to his first love he was the best preacher the Churches of Christ produced in my generation.
We took more than a couple of road trips. He was the first guy I knew who bought a Mazda RX7 (one of the "it" cars back in the 1980's). He was the first guy I knew to buy a Mac (one of the first generation 128K's), and the first to buy a CD player (when we wondered if this new technology would catch on).
If it hadn't been for me, he would have been the last of us to get married. I was there, wearing an uncomfortable white tux and tight shoes in his wedding.
Two decades later I cried with Randy when he and Lara divorced. He left preaching for a while and sold Cadillacs. A couple of winters passed and he met Susan. He told me over a long phone conversation how his broken and lonely heart had found its cure.
He had begun preaching again, at a church in Newnan. I spoke with one of their elders last evening. He was gracious to step out of his grief for a few minutes and minister to me in my shock and heartache.
To say I will miss Randy Moody is not quite right. I will miss him. But I will not be the same now that he is gone. A friend has died and a voice for grace and redemption has been silenced.
About ten years ago Randy wrote a book, Living in the Real Church: A Fresh Look at How Christians Treat One Another. You can still find it at Amazon here. I will miss the guy who believed with all his heart that there was a way to live and love, a way shown by God. It's a way not free of trouble but the way through our trouble. It has been Randy's way and I am glad I got to walk part of it with him.
God bless you Randy. We will see one another again.