This isn’t breaking news – but life isn’t fair. And sometimes, it’s downright evil and wicked.
Such are the consequences of a sinful and fallen world.
Gary L. Rasor, 83, will be laid to rest on Friday in Durham, North Carolina. Services will be at the Clements Funeral Home on Broad Street, a third-generation family business whose motto from its beginning in 1956 has been, “Service not measured by gold, but by the Golden Rule.”
Such a statement and sentiment could be said of Gary Rasor, who passed away on November 30th from injuries sustained from a senseless attack inside a Home Depot store in nearby Hillsborough, NC.
It all started back on October 18th when Gary, who was employed by the home improvement giant, approached a hooded man shoplifting three Ryobi pressure washers. The thief didn’t break stride, forcefully shoving the clerk to the ground, causing him to bang his head on the concrete floor upon impact.
Rushed to the hospital, Mr. Rasor made a valiant recovery effort, but the extent of his injuries and age were just too much.
Known as “Mr. Gary” inside the store, the Ohio native and Army veteran was the ideal go-to guy for home fix-it advice. Although he sold insurance after serving his country in the military, Gary spent years in the construction business. He also managed a condominium complex and was a longtime owner of a fencing company.
With six children and nine grandchildren, Gary’s widow, Yovonne, said the couple was looking forward to a family Christmas and some traveling next year. Instead, she’s planning her husband’s memorial service.
“I’ve always wanted to go to the Panama Canal so we were going to start planning after the grandkid trip and now we’re not,” she said.
Local police have said an intense manhunt for the suspect, who will be charged with a homicide, is underway. Jeff Rasor, Gary’s son, told reporters he’s committed to bringing the attacker to justice.
“This is 100% planned and to include violence for a couple of power washers. It’s almost beyond comprehension. I’m not gonna stop. We’re gonna keep looking and someday they’re gonna make a mistake and that day will be a good day.”
There’s no such thing as a victimless crime, of course. Although we know nothing about the man who committed this heartless and heinous act, we can conclude something in his life broke down somewhere some time ago. One of the reasons we’re seeing an uptick in violent crime is because we’re also seeing a correlated increase in family dysfunction. One follows the other.
Healthy and functional families are exponentially less likely to raise and produce individuals who turn into criminals who injure or kill innocent men like Gary Rasor.
America and the larger world are in desperate need of a spiritual revival. What does it say about a culture where a gentle, elderly man committed to helping his neighbors is rewarded for his service by being shoved to the ground, and to his death? It reveals a cultural sickness, and the urgent need for a hurting and sinful people to find hope and healing in Jesus Christ.
For now, let’s pray for the grieving widow, Yovonne Rasor, who must now manage the incalculable burden of losing her beloved husband to this violent crime. Let’s also pray for their Rasor family, and all those ministering to these hurting people. The many families struggling with the aftermath of violent attacks on loved ones need our prayers, too.
May the Lord’s mercy be evident and comforting in the weeks and months to come.