Grant Castleberry is one of the editors at the new CBMW website. He has written a short article that is a must-read in my view. Grant’s father passed away when Grant was a very small boy. Nevertheless, his father left behind a legacy of faithfulness that still impacts Grant to this day. Grant writes:
It was late in the afternoon of September 23, 1986. I was just two years old, and my dad had just taken off on a routine training exercise in his F-4 Phantom Marine Corps fighter jet. He was flying over the Atlantic Ocean, not far from our home in Beaufort, South Carolina, when his F-4 crashed into another F-4 during a dog-fight maneuver. Both my dad, Captain Charles Kelly Castleberry, and his navigator, Major Christopher Brammer, were never seen again. Search and Rescue crews scoured the Eastern seaboard for days, but they were never able to locate my father…
Losing a father is unspeakably horrific for all children. The son has lost the one person primarily responsible to train him to be a man, and to help him through that process. The daughter has lost her provider, protector, and teacher of being cherished and valued as a woman. I believe this is one reason why God has such a special, tender heart for the fatherless and the widows of the world. David, by the Holy Spirit, writes in Psalm 68:5, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”
I have experienced this special fatherly love by God in numerous ways. I have genuinely felt God’s special hand of providence guiding me throughout my life, and he really has been a father to me. One way that he has shown this love is through another godly man, Preston Abbott, who was sent to be my earthly dad four years after my first dad died. Another provision from my Heavenly Father is the amazing legacy of my first father, Kelly. God enabled my father to do some extraordinary things in his short twenty-six years on earth. These have shaped and will continue to shape me for the rest of my life.
As I said, you must read the rest of this. When you do, don’t miss the photograph of his dad and what it means to Grant today.
[For all of you Aggies out there, you’ll be interested to know that Grant is a former yell-leader at A&M.]