Jesus says, in the Upper Room Discourse, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). When the deadly tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, a few weeks ago Dean Wells proved what Christian friendship looks like by laying down his life. As 200 mph winds bore down on the Home Deport store people fled to the back of the store to be safe. Others in the parking lot were trying to find a way into the store. About a dozen people were tapping on the door at which point Dean Wells let them into the store. Wells was near the front door, having just let in a father and two young children, when the storm hit. Those who made it to the rear of the store survived but six did not. Among them was Christian saint Dean Wells.

When the funeral for Wells took place some days later his daughter said, “Today, we gather for the absolute No. 1 quality my father had. He served others before he served himself. The store manager said, “Wells put himself in a very dangerous place to allow other people to survive the storm.”

At Wells’ funeral service friends and co-workers said he was an optimistic, overwhelmingly friendly man who loved fly fishing and took pride in his grandchildren.”

When Wells’ two daughters went back to his home, after the authorities had released his personal effects, they searched through their dad’s desk for a CD of him whistling “Amazing Grace.” Finding it they played it as his service. Its sound filled the church at his funeral. They also found a note from a sermon. Wells wrote: “No greater sacrifice can be given to them than to give one’s life for another.” Amen. RIP, M. Dean Wells. You are a real hero and you demonstrate what a Christian saint is really all about.