How do you pay tribute to a little boy you have never met? Young Bronner Burgess, 2 1/2 year-old son of Rick and Sherri Burgess drowned Saturday evening in the family pool. What does that have to do with me? Why would I write about it? Bronner (nicknamed Cornbread) is the son of Rick of the Rick and Bubba radio show. It affects me because I am one of countless thousands that enjoy listening to the show for several reasons. One reason is that the guys are just plain, simple, southern, uneducated fun. But not ignorant fun. Their humor is always with a perspective of living in God's sight and attempting to glorify Him. Those two ingredients, genuine humor and a Christian perspective on life make listening to the show enjoyable and allows me to proclaim myself a fan without embarrassment. I do not have any inside connection but rather am just like the many thousands who have come to feel like family to Rick, Bubba, Speedy, and Don Juan, as well as their families.
On Sunday evening I received a cell phone call from my daughter, Laura, just after our small group finished our Bible study. This is unusual for several reasons. I do not carry my cell phone to the Bible study most days and often forget to turn it back on when I do carry it. When she told me that Rick's son had drowned, it felt like a member of my family had suffered a great loss. That is difficult to explain if you are not part of the Rick and Bubba army. Rick was in Tennessee speaking as an ambassador for Jesus when the accident occurred. Bronner slipped out of the house while mom (Sherri) took a shower and somehow fell into the pool. This morning I listened as Bubba and Speedy soldiered on with the show. Their message was right on target and powerful; 1] Don't let the evil one have a foothold with doubt, guilt, and accusations and 2]
Use this terrible time to communicate faith and the need to "set your house in order". Rick is scheduled to speak at his son's memorial service tomorrow at 2 p.m. The testimony of this group of Godly men is powerful. You don't ever wish for a tragedy such as this and the pain will be present for a long time. But still, the tragedy offers the opportunity to demonstrate faith in a way that good times could never provide. The short life, sudden death, and the response to it by the family have served as inspiration to me, as it has to thousands more and will continue to for years. These sudden events will make Rick a more powerful ambassador for Christ the rest of his life. Thank you, Cornbread. You can run and jump without restrictions in your new home. Swing your light saber with reckless abandon. Mom and Dad will be there soon. And I look forward to meeting you in person.