It was a very simple funeral with just a hand full of folks that came. Life had taken many twists and turns along the way and ended very differently for my friend. He never expected life would turn out the way it did, he never set out to make life different from you or I when he was growing up. All his life he had friends, made it through Eagle Scouts, graduated and went on with his life.
Somewhere along the way prescription drugs got in the way and played havoc in his life. He ended up homeless and burned the bridges to many of his relationships along the way. What he did learn was to treasure those that would take the time to care for him and love him without passing judgment on him.
Here was a man who clung to all he had and all he knew, it was simple but it was also profound… Jesus loved him this he knew for the Bible told him so. This simple faith he modeled before me whenever I saw him and countless others every day. Through his eyes I saw life just a little bit differently. My perspective changed and widened and encompassed those that were hurting, those that were down and out, those that needed more grace, more compassion, and those needing more love.
As I sat in that pew and looked around how I wished that each person there could have the privilege that I had, to walk his journey with him side by side. How I wish I could get the ones there in this small church and those not there to see the value of a simple “Hello” and how that meant so much to this man and to many others. How I wish those there could understand and see how a simple act of buying a lunch or giving a ride home changes lives forever and yet it is not the life of the hurting but it is our lives that are changed.
This friend of mine wanted so much for someone to care. Is he any different from us? How many times do we pass someone and ask them how they are and never even wait for the answer. How many times are we the ones that give the pat answer of “fine” or “I’m OK” and deep down we are dying on the inside from life’s messiness.
May we never be so busy or caught up in life that we fail to look around with eyes that truly see. Eyes that see ourselves as we really are, eyes that see others and their pain. May we never be so busy that we don’t offer the ultimate gift to those around us… The gift of ourselves, our time, our hearts, and our love.