Sunday, January 1, 2012

What a Guy!

This past year was filled with blessings of life, and while we strive to make it beyond life to eternity, we give thanks for all He has blessed us with here.

I give thanks and blessings, too, for the friends who have come and gone in my life and for those who have made the trip beyond. Yesterday I lost a friend not much older than I. His name was Guy. He was climbing a ladder, and, at such a young age, he experienced a stroke. A day later he was gone.

While I know our time here is to prepare for our next life, I also know that preparation can take awhile. After all, sometimes it is difficult to serve others. "Washing feet" can test our mettle, our patience...our piety. So I think if God decides to take us early, it is a sign we have done our job well, and our days of service are done. That is not to say if we live to be 100 we haven't learned to wash feet correctly. I think those who live awhile have a special place as well - perhaps, to share wisdom to those who are finding it difficult to serve. God only knows, and we have to find comfort in the fact that because He knows, we don't need to worry about it.

However, that doesn't keep us from questioning, does it? After all, by the grace of God, we have free will - we're human, and in serving others, we grow close to them. We grow to love them.

Guy and I became good friends coaching junior high wrestling together. We both have a love of kids; he in Young Life and me in education. We complemented each other in our coaching styles, we learned to balance each other, and in our quest to help boys become good young men, we became kindred spirits. We washed feet - we attempted to build great relationships with our wrestlers, and we hoped at the end of the day we made a difference in the lives of others.

So yesterday, I wept. I didn't cry, I wept - shoulders heaving. It is difficult to lose those special people in our lives, and, yes, when they've done their job well, they are blessed with an early exit. It has been some time since I've seen Guy, but his memory was alive with me because he was still here. His memory will always be alive, but it's different knowing I'll never see him here again, and that is why we all weep when we lose someone.

His beautiful family, I'm sure, is devastated. His friends will mourn him for some time. But the countless lives that breathe easier because he has lived will have smiles in their hearts forever. Because Guy did it right. And I'm sure when he reached the Gates, The Man said, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

I'll miss you, Guy, but I'll keep working at this "serving others" gig.

And one day I might get it right like you.

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