Thursday, April 9, 2015

Love & Friends

Jesus spoke of loving one's friends. I find this an easy command to follow. I love my friends, I do not just LIKE my friends. If I call you a friend, it is the highest compliment you can receive from me. It means that you are like family to me. I also rarely lose touch with my friends. Facebook, email, calling, I am the guy who stays in touch. Even if it's only a couple of times a year. And even if there has been a lot of time, as soon as we communicate again it is like no time at all has passed. My friends fit into my life. Then comes the rare time when someone looks like they are truly going to leave, to remove themselves from my field of vision perhaps forever, with no future contact.

I do not respond well to this. I can handle death better than I can handle a cutting off of a relationship. I guess it is because I believe in Heaven, and I can hold tight to those I love most all the way to the end. I feel like those who are passing to the next world, so long as they are held tight in love, never really leave us. Whereas those who leave and simply disappear there is something missing. I don't know, I guess it's like an unfinished book. The story isn't complete. I want to never have to think "I wish I'd said that, or I wish I'd done this"... One of the gifts of ministry is knowing the reality of death and the truth that "everything in this world is on its way to Somewhere Else", this usually gives me the chance to push every relationship as far as it can go, to squeeze every wonderful moment out of all of it. I want to truly show love in every relationship, the fullness of love, to give all I can give to that person, at that time. When it doesn't happen it irks me, and pains me greatly.

Now I know that every great and wonderful moment spent with a person is immortalized in the Kingdom of Heaven and the life of God. That every person who I love will live with me in love forever in the next life. That gives me comfort throughout my adventures in this world. But at least with those who pass, so long as I maintained the best relationship I could, I can truly say "yes, I built the greatest structure I could with that one, I gave it my all given the constraints of life, time and human nature. I did my best." I believe there are monuments in Heaven dedicated to the love I feel for those whose lives have touched my own. Every person that taught me, that pushed me to be better, that helped me, that cared about me and that I cared about, I believe there is something eternal waiting in Heaven, to shine forever proclaiming the hidden glory those connections really represented. But when that sculpture feels unfinished, well it just hurts, and hurts bad.

I guess this where trusting in God comes in. I do trust Him, but I also know that God Himself hurts, experiences loss, and knows the pain of incompleteness. Isn't that what the Cross is all about? Anyways, the love is worth the cost. The family you make can truly be greater than the one you are given. In my case the family I've made includes part of the one I was given, but it is so much bigger. I love, I love, I love, those who have chosen to be around me, those who have said things and done things to lift me up and increase my place in this world. I am a worthless sinner, and a stupid silly man unworthy of even a moment of that joy. But knowing it to be a Grace, a gift, I accept it happily and indeed demand as much of it as I can get. I am incapable of being satisfied with but a moment. As many moments as possible, or I'm dissatisfied. And in the next life, an eternity of sharing, or it is a loss too great to comprehend. To my friends, those those who have shown me kindness and caring and courage, I say that for a sinner like me you are like Esau was to Jacob (Genesis Chapters 32 and 33). I have wrestled with God, and now to see your face is to see His face, as a gift to the unworthy. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I dedicate this prose to my dance instructor Karina. You've been a good friend. I'm sorry to say goodbye.