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A hard day, and lessons from unexpected sources..

Started by Roscoe, July 23, 2019, 12:11:29 AM

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I just had  to jot this down- kinda a blog post if you will.
Today was a rough day. Monday, first day back after being out in class for a week, and a memorial service to attend.
Mondays and first day backs, I can handle them. But memorials- well, death and I aren't on speaking terms. I tend to avoid living people and dead people are even higher up on the "avoid at all costs" list. I never know what to say to the grieving either.

It's easier when it's an older person whose lived their life; more so when you know their walk with God. Today was not an easy day.

 The memorial, that of a 15 year old, beautiful girl. An active child. A pretty child. And from all accounts, as sweet as she was pretty.She was the daughter of a coworker.

The coworker is a former military man. One who has frequently disagreed with me. To be honest, one could say we have in the past gotten along like oil and water. I've prayed for him, as the Bible commands us to, but I will admit, shamefully, that sometimes those prayers have been along the lines of "Lord, smite him. Drop a flower pot on his head".

Strangely enough, we have had times that we get along well. We have very similar political veiws, and have similar interests in cars and guns. Yet, in all honesty, I could not say he was a close friend, perhaps more of an acquantice.  And I suspect he would say the same.
When I got the news that his sweet girl had fallen ill, I began praying for healing. I sent him a text, letting him know we were praying, and telling him if he needed anything, I was a call away. I received no answer. I requested prayer for her. And then Wednesday the broken text in which he advised coworkers that his girl was gone...

Today, I watched this man stand before a crowd of hundreds, there to say goodbye to his baby. The one that reminded me so much of my Cheyenne. Both tomboys, both beautiful, sweet, and both with a bright future.

And I was convicted.  This man, who knows nothing of the Holy Ghost to my knowledge, proceeded to tell the church stories about his baby. Then at the end, when I and others were shedding tears at the immense pain he had to be in-he steadied himself. Cleared his voice, and stated "I say this because you need to hear it. And because I need to hear it. God is still on the throne. He still answers and His will be done. I am not mad at Him for taking my Gracie. I'm thankful to Him for giving me 15  wonderful, joy filled years with her and I wouldn't trade them for anything".
 In the receiving line, he looked at me. He said "I thought about you during this. I know how you love your daughter. I have NO regrets, my girl knew how much I loved her, and she kissed me goodnight every night. Bobby, go home, and hug your baby girl like never before. Never miss a chance. Because I can't hug my Gracie anymore."
I cried.
I thought to myself as we hugged and I walk off, barely seeing for the tears, that I have a new respect for the man. And the conviction? Because I have to be honest with myself, were I in the same situation, I can only hope that I would handle it as well and as faithfully to God as he has. I pray I never have to find out. Because I fear I would fail.
In the days to come, he will return to work. And in time, he and I will annoy one another no doubt. But I will always see that broken father, who despite not believing as I do, proved to me that he was a man of faith who walks what he believes, even in the darkest times. I pray that I will extend the grace and mercy to him that God has to me on those times.

In the meantime, I will be praying for my friend. And I will remind myself every day of his daughter's namesake- Grace.. and I wll try to show it, in her memory and to make me a better man.
Potstirrer and snoop extraordinaire   "I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world."- Thomas Edison