Three Little Words

by DanWolgemuth on January 29, 2010

Julie Biddle stood on a small stage at a staff conference next to Zane, her husband. Zane was receiving a service award for his ministry commitment to the teenagers of our military families. Zane and Julie serve at Fort Rucker in Alabama, and the gathering in Georgia unveiled a special moment.

As Zane and Julie positioned themselves at the back of the stage, Julie looked up at Zane and inconspicuously said, "I love you." This wasn’t a gesture in front of an audience, or a portion of an acceptance speech… this was the candid and spontaneous reflection of a wife that loved her husband. It was "off camera," but witnessed by a few.

Within twenty-four hours Julie was back in Alabama with her two small children, while Zane continued his participation in the conference. Then, in an unthinkable cascade of events, Zane tore a muscle, which severed an artery, which created internal bleeding, which lead to an ambulance ride to the hospital and ultimately to the sudden and devastating death of Zane Biddle at age 38.

I was at the camp when word of Zane’s death blew through like a chilling winter wind. There were tears, and prayers, and more tears, and time in God’s Word. And there are still prayers and still tears.

And yet, in the course of an avalanche of feelings and reactions and questions, there was also a profound and simple message preached from the lips of Julie Biddle… just forty-eight hours before the death of Zane. Years of marriage and two small children; the looming return to Fort Rucker; the practical realities of ministry life had not dulled her senses to the power and joy of speaking what often goes unsaid.

On Monday night at Sharp Top Camp, Julie Biddle had said what she felt; and at 6:00 pm on Wednesday Zane was gone.

Those three beautiful words were Zane’s companion on his journey to glory. He was loved, not only by his Heavenly Father, but by his wife… and she made sure that he knew it.

Somebody, somewhere needs to know that you love them. With words. Spoken at whatever level seems appropriate, but spoken nonetheless.

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope." ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13 (NLT)

Thanks, Julie, for showing us the way, first in celebration and now in pain.

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