We learned earlier today about the gut wrenching, tragic, untimely death of 18-year-old Grant Solomon, the son of my friends Aaron Solomon and Angie Huffines. Grant died in a horrific one-car accident.
I’ve seen Grant play baseball several times over the years against my boys. He knew how to compete and he knew how to win. I remember watching him pitch against, and beat, our Lipscomb Academy varsity team as an 8th grader at Grace Christian Academy (Franklin, TN).
We played Grace Christian earlier this year in our second game of the year and what would prove to be our last due to the pandemic. Sensing it might be our last game, I asked three different photographers earlier that day to come shoot the game. I ended up with 577 photographs.
Tonight I opened up that folder to see if Grant might have appeared in any of those photos.
He was in just one.
That one photo spoke volumes.
There was Grant, playing second base, having said something to our senior shortstop and Vanderbilt Athletics baseball signee Jack O’Dowd that made Jack smile. Grant had the confidence to talk to Jack when a lot of other high school players would have been intimidated. Grant wasn’t. He was comfortable talking to Jack because he was a fellow member of a fraternity of high-performing warriors. Jack was his brother.
That’s what hit me immediately when I saw the photo.
Grant was unashamed to wear it on his face. He was unashamed to own his Lord.
While they are experiencing a pain very few of us will ever fully comprehend, the cross is the reason Aaron, Angie, Gracie, their extended family and all of Grant’s friends and teammates will grieve differently.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Well done Grant. Unsurprising to all of us who watched you compete over the years, you went the distance.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Lord come quickly.