Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Prayers for Gary Sinise and his family

May his memories be made of times like this
Gary Sinise has announced that his son, Mac, died of cancer this January.  It was after a fire year battle.  He was diagnosed with cancer in the same year Gary's wife was diagnosed.  In one of those 'why this guy God, he's one of the good guys!', you're reminded that it rains on the just and the unjust. 

Gary Sinise is one of those rare 'good guys of Hollywood.'  He's our generation's Bob Hope.  Though I fear that Hope had far more love and appreciation for his devotion to our military than Sinise has.  Keeping himself as far from partisan politics as he can, he nonetheless has devoted himself to our veterans and  to doing everything he can to support them and aid them in their troubles. 

He's best known, of course, for his role in Forrest Gump as the longsuffering Lieutenant Dan.  One of the most memorable performances of the 1990s, and possibly of all time.  He took that role and his identification with the character and turned it into his devotion to our armed forces in the years after the 9/11 attacks.  He hasn't looked back since.

I know.  People experience such tragedies all the time.  Why single this one out?  I guess, again, because he's one of the good guys.  Like the late Roddy McDowall, he's known to be someone who has no enemies in an industry awash with enemies.  And people from all sides of the ever more contentious aisles appear to respect him, as well they should.

So it's always tough when people who have devoted themselves selfishly for the cause of good appear to get hit and hit and hit again with tragedies.  It's times like this that you're inclined to say "Not fair God, why not drop these horrors on someone who has it coming, and I can compose a list pretty quickly.'  Until, again, you realize that's now how it works.  

For just like making the stupid mistake of calling hellfire down on the rich without realizing to some in the world I am rich, the same goes for the good guys and the bad guys.  Whatever I think of others who I feel deserve such trauma in their lives more than Sinise, there are others far better than me who could say the same about me.  But then, that's what makes them far better than me. 

In the end, on this side of heaven, we think of Corrie ten Boom's illustration of this life as a needlepoint  work of art knitted by God.  We see the business end on the rear of the picture - loose ends, dangling threads, knotted confusion.  God sees the beautiful picture on the other side. 

Whether that helps Mr. Sinise, I couldn't say.  He speaks of his son's strong Catholic Faith. Apparently Gary is also Catholic, having entered the Church in 2010.  I pray that faith of theirs will see them through the coming months and years as they deal with one of the worst things a person can experience, and the worst thing a parent can experience.  

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all.  Psalm 34.17-19


  1. The Bible does also tell us to weep with those who weep so I don't think there's any shame in taking a moment for Gary and praying that God gives him strength during these times.

    1. True that. He brought enough smiles to us that I think we can spare a tear or two on his behalf.

  2. "It's times like this that you're inclined to say "Not fair God, why not drop these horrors on someone who has it coming, and I can compose a list pretty quickly.'"

    That was part of what made Lt. Dan such a memorable character -- he goes from being very embittered about his disability and being angry at God for allowing him to live like that, to quietly thanking Forrest for having saved his life... after which Forrest says "He never actually said so, but I think that's when he made his peace with God."

    Elaine S.

    1. Yep. He and Jenny were the two characters with any kind of an arc. And his was perhaps the best. His sense of destiny shattered by his injuries followed by bitterness and anger and finally redemption and gratitude is about as good as you get. I think everyone would like to believe there's a little more of Lt. Dan in Mr. Sinise than just the band.

    2. it's easy to miss, but there's also a bit in the movie where Lt. Dan mocks a preacher for telling Dan, "you will walk in Heaven" because how can he? Dan has no legs.

      Then at the end of the movie, what do we see? Dan walking with new legs. God got him legs even before the hereafter. I think Gary really sells the scene with the joy he has now. I don't know if the movie intended it, but it's a subtle message that one should have hope, because you don't know what God has in store.


Let me know your thoughts