Every Frodo Needs a Sam | In Memory of Sam Sinclair
Today the family and friends of Sam Sinclair grieve his loss and celebrate his legacy. Sam Sinclair was an amazing son and brother, and a great friend to so many people. I’ll never forget the days I had with him when he was a student at CSU and a Young Life leader at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins. Sam was full of life, and full of love for others. Today, his family says goodbye to a loving son and brother, and many others say farewell to a very good friend.
Sam Leaves a Legacy of Relationships
Sam has left a legacy of relationships. He somehow learned early on that what matters most in life is relationships. He reminds me of Samwise Gamgee of the Lord of the Rings. He was Frodo’s most loyal friend and encourager. And Frodo could not have carried the burden of his calling without his good friend, Sam’s support. I think many today would say the same thing about Sam Sinclair. He was a loyal companion to so many.
Sam Was a Story-Maker
As I reflect on Sam, a few stories come to mind. This morning over coffee, Brian Stribley shared his story of how he needed a friend to drive with him to see his girlfriend (now wife), Sara, and Sam was the only one to volunteer to drive with him and keep him awake. My brother Kevin shared this afternoon how Sam showed up at his wedding with his camera and volunteered to take photos of his wedding day. And even though they had a paid photographer, to this day the pictures they have of their wedding on the walls of their home, are the ones that Sam took. He had an incredible gift for finding a practical way to serve people with the gifts God had given him.
Thomas Haines reminded me this afternoon, that after he shared with his church, the Tool Room, that he was going to attempt to climb Mount Everest, Sam came up to him and said, “Dude, I’m going with you. I just want to support you any way I can.” And Sam followed through. He showed up in Nepal and made it to Everest Base Camp to show his support of Thomas. What a loyal friend.
Sam Sinclair Was a Living Example of Biblical Friendship
The Bible is full of friendships like the ones Sam embodied. A few that come to mind are Jonathan’s vital friendship with David. And how about, Aaron’s friendship with Moses? Neither of these men, David and Moses, could have accomplished what they did without their close companions, Jonathan and Aaron. And the one that stands out the most for me is Barnabas, who was a close companion of the Apostle Paul. Barnabas was called “Son of Encouragement”, because he was the constant encourager of Paul on his missionary journeys. Everyone needs a Barnabas in their life. Everyone needs a Sam Sinclair in their life too.
Jesus puts it this way:
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13
And King Solomon said it this way:
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. -Proverbs 18:24
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
There is so much to learn from Sam’s life, but here are a few ways I want to honor his memory:
- Shine the Joy of Jesus to others like Sam did…
- Be a loyal friend like Sam was…
- Leave a legacy of relationships by making heroes of others like Sam did…
- Invest in young people with my utmost passion and love like Sam did…
- Be a story-maker by saying “yes” to people in my life—supporting others, going along for the ride, and finding ways to forge deeper relationships by being present in people’s lives…
- Lastly: Look for the Frodos around me, and be a “Sam” to them, like Sam Sinclair was an Encourager to me and so many others….
Christ is Risen | And So is Sam
I’d like to conclude this reflection on Sam’s life with the lyrics of a song that I think breaths hope into the living legacy that Sam leaves in the world because of his faith and belief in Jesus Christ:
Christ is Risen | Lyrics by Matt Maher
Christ is risen from the dead / Trampling over death by death / Come awake, come awake! / Come and rise up from the grave…
Oh death! Where is your sting? / Oh hell! Where is your victory? / Oh Church! Come and stand in the light! / The glory of God has defeated the night!
Oh death! Where is your sting? / Oh hell! Where is your victory? / Oh Church! Come and stand in the light! / Our God is not dead, He’s alive! He’s alive!
Christ is risen from the dead / Trampling over death by death / Come awake, come awake! / Come and rise up from the grave / Christ is risen from the dead / We are one with him again / Come awake, come awake! / Come and rise up from the grave / Rise up from the grave!
I look forward to seeing you in Paradise Sam. I’m sure you are already on an epic adventure with Jesus right now. I can’t wait to hear the stories you are making with your Heavenly Father, even today.
Please take a moment and LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW with your own “Sam Story” as a tribute to him.