Wednesday, December 23, 2015
A few years ago I lost a friend. Not like.. walking through the mall and we got turned around.. I mean he died. Actually, he killed himself. One night he hugged his momma goodnight, went to his room and took a lethal dose of sleeping pills. He made the decision to end his life. Something in his mind was so terrible about living here, that he decided to leave. His mother called me a week later to tell me. She was finally able to speak without hyperventilating. The news hit me like a ton of bricks. I had seen Joe once a week for months. He came into my little store just to see me and laugh. Until his mother told me, I had no idea that I was one of the very few lights in his small world. She said that he would come home after visiting with me and he would tell her the jokes and stories that I had shared with him. They would giggle and laugh with each other and for a few minutes she would see his face light up. Joe had a tendency to break his phone on the regular. It was something that he just couldn’t get away from. And he never had the money for a new one, or even to really get his fixed properly. I would bargain with my techs to fix it for him for cheap/free.. Usually resulting in buying them lunch that day. Joe would call me when he needed phone help. That day he called me. That day I ignored the call. He later text my phone and said “My phone broke. I hate Wednesdays. Aak” I didn’t answer him. I rolled my eyes, and smiled at the thought of Joe texting me through a broken screen, and kept on going with my little life. This is a text that I kept for a year. When I got a new phone, I took a screenshot of this and saved the picture. After I got off the phone with his mother I had to leave the building. I went to my car and cried. I sobbed. Snot mixing with tears flowed down my face into my shirt. Soaking my shirt and my bra. I wept for Joe. I wept for Joe’s Mother. I wept for weeping. But I mostly wept out of anger that day. Of all the time I spent with Joe, all the fun and laughter… I can’t ever remember asking Joe if he had received Christ as his Savior. Joe was a homosexual. We didn’t talk about it. I just loved him like I was supposed to, and it was never a thing. My Christ came to earth with the sole intent of dying a painful, long death. So that Joe didn’t have to go to hell. So that I don’t have to go to hell. So that my kids… Don’t have to go to hell. Born into sin. We don’t get a choice. But we CAN choose to go to heaven. But did he? Had Joe ever confessed sins into the night? Had he ever fallen to the ground and told The Lord that he needed Him? I don’t know. That’s between Joe and The Lord. But as I sat in my car I knew that I had to talk to someone who would understand my feelings. I picked up my phone and called my Prayer Warrior. Mrs. B. As I wept to her there in the hot car, she let me vent. Then she spoke. “Franny. Cut it out.” I was shocked. She went on. Do you really think that the God who made the heavens The God who created the earth The God who holds each sparrow in the sky The God who knows how many hairs are on your head The God who sees all time before it takes place… Do you really think that THAT God would allow Joe to pass away without giving him one last chance to repent any sins? Did you really just limit your God?! Did you just tell Him that you don’t think He could have rescued Joe in those last dark moments? God wants each of His children for Himself, do you think that He just lets them walk away? Romans 8:37-39 My car went quiet. I suddenly saw Joe lying in bed. Jesus was sitting on the side of his bed and the room was full of light. Joe woke up from his drug induced sleep and sat up only to be looking straight into the face of Christ. I saw Jesus smile. I saw Joe’s eyes fill. I saw the clock on his bedside table. It was still. The earth wasn’t spinning. The God of time had stopped the world for this one child. All our lives halted in this moment. I won’t know what sort of choices Joe made until I myself walk through the gates of heaven and take Jesus’s hand. But my heart believes that each of us is that important to God. I honestly, with my whole heart believe that God can stop time to get a final answer. A year later My cousin passed away. We weren’t close. I had always wanted to be. I had always wanted a relationship with family. I’m the oldest grandchild, but he got my grandma’s hugs/time/love. The cards played out and the hand I was dealt led me down a different path, with a different family structure. But I always missed Max. He was beyond talented. Had an ear for music. I imagine that he was funny. But I also know he held a secret. A secret that he carried since he was too young to understand it. I only know bits and pieces of Max’s story, and half of that may not even be true. But I love Max. I have since we were young. Dealing with Joe the year before, I was able to stop and think.. Maybe. Just maybe. In that quiet, dark room where Max was. In that quiet, dark blackness… Just maybe he saw a small light. Maybe that light grew bigger until he saw a beautiful man standing there. Maybe that man held out his scarred hand to Max. Maybe time stood still.