Reflections on Roy Fite’s Life

In Isaiah 55:8 we’re assured: ‘“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.’ We can easily nod in agreement when things are going our way, but that’s so difficult to accept when tragedy strikes as in the sudden death of our beloved treasurer, Roy Fite, in June. How could a loving God take a dad from his dear daughter, Mattie, who had already endured the loss of her mom in her young life? How could he steal Becky’s husband from her so soon after they were married? You’ll not find any answers here, but having suddenly lost one of my treasured daughters, Devan, 3.5 years ago, there is hope, and there is comfort because of a decision both she and Roy made some years ago…to accept God’s ultimate act of love in sacrificing His Son Jesus on The Cross as their one and only hope for all eternity.

So Roy is not dead…he is merely “asleep,” and Mattie, Becky, and all those who’ve made that same decision will yet see him with the certitude of never again being separated from him forever. At the judgment of rewards, we’ve no doubt that Roy will indeed be surrounded by a “huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith” he lived. Roy never set foot in CCP, yet the men and women he impacted by his faithful service to Onesimus via our chaplains, whose salaries he dutifully paid with the offerings he stewarded from our generous benefactors, might well be among that throng testifying to the impact that Roy’s faithfulness played in the eternal destiny of themselves and their descendants for generations. Or perhaps his legacy will be trumpeted by the accomplishments of Becky, or Mattie, or one of his yet-to-be-born grandchildren in adding to those whose “citizenship is in heaven.”

On May 31st, Roy sent me the balance sheet (for distribution at our bi-monthly meeting to be held at his and Becky’s home four days later) with the note, “Have a great weekend!” The very next day that weekend would be ruined by news of his heart attack and death. To a lost world that would seem to have been the tragic end for Roy. Yet to those whose hope is in Jesus Christ, June 1st will mark the day that Roy overcame this fallen world.

In the words of the beautiful tribute song, “Brother,” written by his brother, Bruce Fite, after Roy’s conversion: “Your new life has just begun One thing’s for sure – the victory’s won.”

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