Several weeks ago, my friend Minas died. For more than two decades this unique human, God-gifted to us, roamed the halls at Gray Reed. He touched each one of us in his own special way. Minas headed up the copy and supply room. He was a fixture to us like the cross on a steeple or a weathervane atop a farmhouse on the Texas prairie.
Minas sprinkled his dry humor and wit on each of us. His corny jokes. His pranks to some of us like putting a headshot of Lew Harpold (without permission) over the head of one of the famous portraits of Winston Churchill in Daryl Bailey’s office. That was done after the death of the Firm’s legendary Lew Harpold who had mentored Daryl as a young lawyer. The question was how long would it take for Daryl to notice that Lew’s likeness had taken the place of Churchill on his office wall. That was just one of many things Minas did to demonstrate that he cared. Minas knew a good laugh heals everyone, especially those who grieve and those who are sick.
In 2015 as I was in Methodist ICU for nine days with pneumonia, I received one of Minas’ creations. A very large poster signed by Gray Reed staff. On the poster, Minas had placed an Andy Warhol-sized can of Campbell’s Chicken Soup. You’ll never find one of those at Hallmark’s Cards and Gifts.
A celebration of Minas’ life was held the week the Firm moved into its new offices. Daryl’s homily for Minas inspired this week’s prayer. Daryl said that Frank Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way” was reflective of Minas’ uniqueness. That comment made me recall Minas telling me that as a young man in Cairo, Egypt he had watched Sinatra perform one evening under the background of the illumined Great Sphinx.
In Daryl’s homily, he spoke about the (-) dash between the birth and death dates of Minas’ life. Minas Chepikian, (Born August 7, 1950—Died June 25, 2022). As well as your dash (-) and my dash (-); the dash God gives all of His children.
Daryl said, “What we all have in common is that dash. The time from our birth until the time we leave this life. We may not all have the same amount of time IN our DASH but while we are here, we each have a dash. It is what we do DURING our DASH that makes a difference.”
Daryl continued with “Minas was a difference-maker in each of our individual lives.
“Minas was a difference-maker because he connected with everyone on an individual level that was important to each individual.
“He would discover in each of us some interest we had or expressed that was important. Then, Minas would talk to us and relate to us about those things. He would send us emails with articles about those topics. He might do something with his graphics background talent and give to us something related to those important topics, most often with a bit of humor.”
As Daryl said to me, “As all of us at Gray Reed moved into our beautiful new office space last weekend, Minas moved into his new space in the presence of God, a space that is more beautiful than we can imagine”. That is a sacred place for all souls like Minas who are difference makers and servants of God.
God has spoken to us in Scripture of making a difference in the lives of others.
1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Let us pray together.
Dear God, in prayer I thank You for the life You have gifted me. Just as I am certain I was born, I am also certain that I will one day pass from the Earth.
God, I know the life You have given me is my Dash, the time between my date of birth and the date of my death. The DASH is my sacred opportunity to love and serve You and to make a difference in the lives of all Your children.
God, please guide and strengthen me to make the most of my Dash until the day I die and join You forever in Heaven and to love and serve You forever and ever. Amen
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur, and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.