I haven't journaled about losing my friend, because I haven't been able to yet...
Last week a dear friend of mine passed away. He fought cancer and then finally was released to go home, home to be with God.
I haven't seen him since 1999- haven't written to him, his wife or family since then-
We were in a drama ministry team together. About 15 adult men and women traveling on weekends during the school year and full time during the summer. Traveling to youth camps and churches and schools and block parties and other ministry events. I don't know if I can explain what this was like- living on top of each other for weeks on end, working together and trying to do life...
Christian life and love was defined for me during these trips.
Yes, I grew up in church, but my family traveled so much that I always felt outside of it all. And I tend to view the world differently somehow than many Christians anyway- And no, I don't know if I can explain that- being shy, and an artist seemed to define my life somehow. I was always asking why, and was rarely fully satisfied with the answers.
The relationships I experienced during those travels changed me. I understand love as living every day with people, putting up with a lot of stuff, letting people disagree with me, being kind when it hurts, holding back words and thinking about what it will mean to let them out- forever to be heard in someone's mind...
Knowing Bill, knowing this group of people helped me understand 1st Corinthians love- love is patient, love is kind... We were in each other's laps all the time, driving each other crazy, and laughing and sharing good things, and bad things and it was so sweet. Sometimes I want to go back and live there. As shy and separate as I kept myself- I miss that time dearly. I love those people and I miss them.
Bill was one of the first men I trusted- his relationship with his wife, Jane, was one of the first that made me think: "well maybe men aren't all selfish assholes" and "maybe I'd like to have what they've got together"-
God, Thank you for letting me know Bill. Thank you that he's at home with you now and not hurting, Thank you for the time you let me live with Company, for letting me know what Christian family can be like, and for letting me see Christians at their best and at their worst. You grew me during this time- You changed me while I had the opportunity to do what I love for you.
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