I write with mixed emotions of sadness and also privilege. Sadness at the occasion of the passing of my Christian brother, a good and decent man who was a trustworthy servant of his God and a compliment to his culture. However, also privileged to tell of my friend and recount the influence of his daily walk through this life with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The words integrity and consistency perhaps best describe the Bob Bugg I was blessed to know and work with for many years. He walked humble but tall in a fallen world which often creates and promotes smaller men; men who worship at the altars of pride, arrogance, ignorance and self- adulation, while choosing to serve much smaller gods than the one Bob knew personally. The impact Bob had on his world was subtle, but truly profound. Husband, father, grandfather, attorney, teacher of the law and the Bible, friend; he pursued all these relationships and responsibilities with a fervor, class and demeanor that can only come from a man who daily walks, as best he can as a flawed human, with the Creator.
It is said that you teach what you know but you reproduce what you are... what you live. Our brother was classic evidence of this and it shows in the legacy he has left in his family. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." Bob never compromised this testimony, even in a culture that sadly pursues watered-down social religion in the shrouded names of tolerance, inclusion and a quest not to be offensive, even at the expense of truth. May we all live our lives safe in a relationship with our Savior so that we, like Bob, can someday hear Jesus welcome us into His eternal presence. Bob would like that. May the peace that passes all understanding be with you and your family during this chapter of your earthly walk.
I was visiting with Bob a month or so before he went home to be with His Lord. As I was getting ready to leave, Bob, who was somewhat labored in his breathing after us joking around, motioned me closer. He said he had something he needed to ask me. I walked over to him ready for some profound, deep question. As I leaned down, Bob said " Joe, I need to know what you think about something". Drawing closer, I waited for his question. He then looked at me with that serious, now drawn face of a standout trial lawyer and said " I've been thinking about entering a body building contest.....what do you think?" After looking at him dumbfounded for a second or two, we both cracked up. Here I was with a good friend, probably in his last days, yucking it up. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. As always, my buddy was concerned about making me comfortable in this very uncomfortable situation. There.....you have the essence of the man...................I miss my friend.
A couple of days ago I listened to a voice message I have saved that he left me while at Mayo Clinic, awaiting his return home. It was good to hear his voice. Along with his family, I expect to hear it again when we all reach our eternal home, redeemed for us by the cross.