Today I attended the funeral of a colleague and friend, Dr. Bill Cutrer. I can’t say enough about how much I admire and appreciate this man. He was a medical doctor turned seminary professor. He ran a successful OB-GYN practice in Dallas, Texas before leaving that behind for a ministry of teaching and writing. I knew him before he knew me because of a book that was given to me during my engagement to my wife. Little did I know then how much of a personal impact he would have on my family in just a few short years when I became a student at Southern Seminary.
Dr. Cutrer ministered to countless young couples on our campus who were struggling with the pain of infertility and of miscarriages. It was the subject matter of his book When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden, but it was more than that as he personally walked this path of tears with couple after couple. As he did with so many others, Dr. Cutrer ministered to my wife and me through a period of uncertainty about whether or not children would ever be in the cards for us. It was early in our marriage, and I cannot overstate what a help it was to us that he was there in that difficult time.
Dr. Cutrer and his wife Jane taught a marriage enrichment course at Southern Seminary every year, and when I was a student my wife and I enrolled. That course has turned out to be one of the greatest blessings over the course of our marriage. In fact, in my last sermon at my church, I referred to it again as it has become a plumb line in our lives on the issue of communication (listen below at 24:16). We are still working out the principles that we learned in that class.[audio:http://kenwoodbaptistchurch.com/filerequest/1543.mp3]
I could go on about all the things that made me feel a special connection to Dr. Cutrer. We were both graduates of DTS and were both shaped by the ministry of Howard Hendricks. We both once called Dallas home, and we were both displaced Cowboys fans. When you add all of that to the ministry he had to my wife and me, it adds up to a lot of gratefulness for this man’s life. And there are countless other families and individuals who have been touched by Dr. Cutrer in a similar way.
As I pray for his wife and family who are grieving, there is one thing that I regret. We are a decade removed from those formative days in which he influenced our early marriage, but I never got to tell him how much his ministry has meant to my family over these years. It has indeed meant the world to us, and that is why I am writing this now. Thank you, Bill. And thank you, Jane.
Dr. Cutrer has gone to a place that is beyond regret, and that makes all the difference for those who must live through the aftermath of his passing. We do not grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13). The last chapter has yet to be written, and the best is still yet to come.