OH! Johnny

The last time I saw him, Johnny Rouse was sitting next to me at a gathering of former students and friends in Bryan, Texas. He didn’t look good and later I found out why. At that event, we had a great laugh at his predicament during the ballroom scene of “Sound of Music”, the first high school production on stage at Bryan Civic. Everyone was dressed formally and much to Johnny’s chagrin, his zipper got hung on his shirt-tail. No amount of effort would free it, so Johnny took off his tux jacket and held it over his arm as he did his part. I was rather surprised, but I knew there was a good reason.  Johnny always did the right thing and if what he did was not according to the script, there had to be a reason. He was mortified, but the cast praised him for his fast thinking. I believe someone in the scene asked why he had removed his jacket and he quickly responded, “Don’t you think it a bit warm in here?”  I loved Johnny Rouse and I believe the sentiment was reciprocated. I lost Johnny on October 4 at a Hospice in Bryan/College Station.   Johnny felt responsible for things outside his control and could not forgive himself for his own mistakes. No matter what any of us said, he took it all on himself and simply gave up. Overwhelmed by guilt, Johnny Rouse failed to rely on the loving GOD who made him. It is a perfect lesson for us all. How many times have our mistakes beaten us down. What a shame it is to lose a sweet, talented man like Johnny Rouse. His is a story that should grab the attention of everyone who carries the garbage of guilt around. My GOD is a merciful and loving GOD. My LORD JESUS CHRIST paid the price for all our sins and it is a tragedy that we fail to accept that sacrificial gift.  I pray that my friend, Johnny Rouse, found that precious peace of assurance.  I pray the same for all of us, dochaknow, really. It is all we have to go on as we ‘go on’. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

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