Several years ago, I flew into Southern California to attend a church conference. My brother Steve was scheduled to land about an hour after me, where we had planned to meet, get a car and then go to our hotel. While waiting I decided to borrow a piece of paper from one of the airlines and wrote a lengthy name with many consonants and several random vowels. Once I knew his plane had landed, I got in line with several limousine drivers who were also holding up signs with names on them. When I saw Steve coming down the escalator with his carry on luggage, I began to yell this strange fictitious name. Without missing a beat, he said, “That’s me. Here take my luggage.” He dropped his bag at my feet and continued to walk by. Wow! I wanted to embarrass him and he stuck me with carrying his bags. That was Stev!
One year ago today the world changed. It did not make FOX or CNN. There was no breaking news alert on the local channels, but for those of us who knew and loved Steve it was as heart breaking as any natural disaster. After teaching a Bible study, Steve began to feel bad and had someone call 911. He stepped into the presence of God only a few moments later. It was September 12, 2012.
I know with great certainty that Steve is at peace, that day a year ago he stopped walking by faith and began walking by sight, seeing the Lord in all of His glory. I know he has gathered with Mom and Dad and the giants of faith found in scripture.
However, my heart still hurts. It’s not that I’m mad at God, or that my pain is greater than anyone else. It is simple. I miss my brother.
I miss hearing about his latest idea of reaching people for Christ; The change he made in his golf swing; The people he was able to help with food, a place to stay or even a job; Setting up the next trip out west or a journey back to Ohio; His dry sense of humor and his direct way of making sure I was walking in a manner pleasing to God. At a time like this I am reminded of the words Morgan Freeman, aka Red, spoke in Shawshank Redemption, “I guess I just miss my friend”.
My faith is strong though my heart is still broken. Perhaps many of you feel the same way, whether about Steve or someone you lost that meant the world to you.
Two verses that have helped along this difficult path are:
Psalm 34:17 “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”
II Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
I know I will see Steve again, but until then, sure wish I could carry his luggage just one more time.