When I was seventeen years old my dad came home from work one day and said, “Danny, I need you to go pick up Steve from college.” Steve was attending Campbellsville College in Campbellsville, Kentucky. It was about three and a half to four hours away. Dad gave me a sheet of notebook paper with a map drawn on it and twenty bucks. He said, “Be careful going through Cincinnati, don’t speed on the country roads in Kentucky. Call when you get there.” Certainly this was a time before cell phones! The next morning I began the journey to C-ville. I got there about noon, called home and no one was there, duh, Mom and Dad were at work and this was before answering machines. Can someone say “The Dark Ages!”
When I walked up to Steve’s dorm room there was a note on the door, it read, “Danny, doors open come in, got this thing I have to do will see you in a little while, Stev.” It was about noon, so I went in and sat down. Seven hours later Steve strolled in and said, “Lets head home.”
My brother, lived on his own time table. Viewed the world differently than most. His heart was always about reaching out to others. Helping in any way he could, and having a blast along the way. He had a dry sense of humor and was as stubborn as a mule. He was my best friend and I loved him dearly.
I can’t help but reflect this Christmas on Steve. He is not with us and I will continue to miss him as the days turn into years and the years mount up into decades. The depth of my pain is only a reflection of the depth of the love that I had for him. Perhaps you feel the same way about someone you have lost. Holidays can be painful though they don’t have to be. Why? Because the reason we celebrate has not changed. Christmas is about rejoicing in the birth of our Savior. From His entrance some 2000 years ago, a door was opened that allows you to have hope, grace, forgiveness and love. Hold on to what you have, not what you have lost.
December 25th will have some sadness, but I know Steve would want his family to celebrate what Christmas is really about. Walk with me this holiday season as we reflect on those who have gone before us, and exalt the name of Jesus! I hope you have a Merry Christmas, “Stev, I got this thing I have to do will see you in a little while.”