Today marks the one year mark of Jimmy’s passing. This week our family is in Montana at the location where he spent his last days and hours and took his last breath. What a special place! I was excited to have one of Jimmy’s close friends and accountability partners, Clayton Chambers, ask to write a post about Jimmy for this special time. I know you will enjoy and benefit from this post ‘The Man Who Knew Love’ and the included song he wrote and sang for Jimmy. Thank you Clayton for loving Jimmy and for sharing your heart about him during this week. -Chuck Brazell
The Man Who Knew Love by Clayton Chambers
The gym was packed.
Over four hundred folks, with students from nearly every state sat attentively in this gym, listening to speeches given by students who were running for positions in a mock election campaign. As dozens of candidates gave shaky, short, and sometimes superficial speeches, one student caught everyone’s eye. He sauntered onto the stage with a guitar in hand and a smile on his face; his countenance was one of a kind.
No one could really imitate Jimmy Brazell.
Positioning his guitar, he played a song. What followed, however, was one of the most sincere, passionate speeches I’ve ever heard.
He talked about love. He talked about how humans obtain purpose and meaning as they learn how to love. By loving, we receive life – we are living the way we were created to live, because we are doing what we were created to do.
But what sort of love was Jimmy referring to? His idea of love was not (and is not) popular. Love meant something different to him. Paraphrasing from his speech on that day…
“…When I say “Love,” I mean “to love,” with the pure, true, selfless love of Christ!”
“To love.” With Jimmy, love was an action. Love means sacrifice. Love shows grace. It gives second chances. It keeps no record of wrongs. It forgives. It perseveres. It hopes.
It seeks the betterment of others, regardless of what it costs you. It means laying your life down for someone else.
You see, Jimmy could talk about love because he knew how to love.
Jimmy didn’t win a position as an elected official that year at TeenPact, nor did he care. To him, life didn’t revolve around popularity, possessions, or prosperity. It revolved around an honest quest to know love.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
– C.S. Lewis
by Clayton Chambers