A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about my brother Steve and some of the crazy game ideas he came up with throughout our childhood and youth. Having no clue that only a handful of days later, Steve would leave us from this earth. Over the past two weeks I have thought about so much of our lives and how they intertwined with fun, sports, and spiritual things. Man do I miss him! Trying to make sense of something that simply doesn't make sense is wasted energy, or so I have found, so I cling to memories of great days gone by.
In 1976, Steve had just graduated from high school and the summer Olympics were in full swing. The USA had an impressive boxing team and they were walking through the rest of the world in the squared circle. I came home one day and Steve had a great idea, or at least for him. "Let's box!" In 1976, Steve looked like a paratrooper and I weighed about 150 lbs, insert your own joke here I am well aware I now have a leg that weighs 150 lbs, but the odds were not in my favor. He had two pair of socks wrapped around his fists and threw me a couple of pair and said, "No face shots." While taking the beating of my life, I waived the no face shot rule and punched Steve in the face. What came next I barely remember, Jimmy Dean sang a song about Big Bad John years ago, and made reference to a crashing blow from a huge right hand, I suspect that is what happened. Lying on the ground, not sure where I was and having no sense of feeling in my legs, I could hear Steve yelling, "Just get up! You can't stay down Danny!"
Casting Crowns performs a song titled "Praise you in this Storm". I listened to it about a half a dozen times this morning. The words that struck my heart were these:
"You are who you are, no matter where I am,
Every tear I've cried, you hold in your hand,
You never left my side, and though my heart is torn,
I will praise you in this storm."
A lot of people are hurting today. Loss of a loved one, broken relationships, poor health and a number of other real struggles that can bring you down. God cares and God loves you. A great pastor once said, "Sometimes it's not until Jesus is all you have left, that you realize, He was all you ever needed."
I imagine in heaven right now Steve is saying, "Just get up! You can't stay down Danny!"