When he wasn’t presiding on the bench, Raymond Myles was standing at the pulpit, leading worship for the Stony Island Church of Christ, where he was known as “The Golden Voice.”
That’s what the 66-year-old Cook County associate judge was doing less than 24 hours before he was shot to death outside his south Chicago home in what police call an attempted armed robbery.
Days later, his family struggled with a question they may never stop asking: Out of all people, why Ray?
“Ray was always trying to help people, always pouring in to people — always,” Luke Myles, the judge’s cousin, told The Christian Chronicle as he sat in the fellowship hall of the Stony Island church, two weeks after the shooting. “And then, for something like this to transpire, it just leaves a lot of questions.”
He was more than a terrific song leader, added James Carter, minister for the 80-member congregation, as he reminisced with the judge’s cousin.
“He was a terrific Christian,” Carter said. “He was a terrific man, a terrific brother in Christ, and he inspired people.”
Raymond Myles’ death came amid a wave of violence in America’s third-most-populous city. Chicago’s 2.7 million souls experienced their deadliest year in nearly two decades in 2016 — 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents and 4,331 shooting victims, according to police statistics.
For Luke Myles — himself a minister for the Far West Church of Christ in Chicago, where he and his cousin grew up — those numbers became suddenly and shockingly personal on April 10. His daughter woke him up after she saw news reports that the judge had been shot.
“To experience a murder — this is a whole other level, and it has opened my eyes,” Luke Myles said. “It’s a very different thing to experience it (when) it’s someone that’s close to you. It has brought a different type of awareness to myself concerning the murder rate in Chicago and the way these things are transpiring.”
Police have arrested two men in connection with the murder, but the investigation continues.
On the bench and in the pews, Raymond Miles “was the kind of person that made sense when sense needed to be made,” Carter said.
But his death makes no sense.
Source: The Christian Chronicle | Chellie Ison