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You Have So Much To Give

September 01, 2018 5 Comments

I've spent a multitude of hours this week looking up at the empyrean regions.  Our days filled with cerulean skies and a perfect ensemble of clouds.  Sunsets so kissed with pinks, oranges, and purples you swore you could smell it.  The nights oddly clear with a southern horizon dotted in a rare lineup of the planets.  Day in and day out the beauty above us was powerful.  I seemed to be reminded regularly by the happenings in the world, how fortunate I was to have such an incredible view.

Today, I was captured in a surreal moment. I felt like I was sitting on one of those clouds, floating above it all....watching from a distance as far as the stars...as dear friends and family buried a son, much too soon.  His story is not mine to tell, but the story of what I witnessed today moved me more than anything ever has and that I want to share.  

During his service a large group of men in their 20's and 30's all rose and walked to the podium together.  Men who many times early in the afternoon had been spotted more than once, overcome with grief, truly clinging to one another, not ashamed of their tears.  As the first one began to speak, it all made sense.  These were not just friends, they had no blood relations, in fact, each of them had likely known him for a much shorter period of time than any one of the multitude of people sitting in front of them.  But they knew him in ways no one else could.  These were his "brothers"....the men he had lived with this past year while in rehab...and their connection is not something we can possibly understand.  I hung on to every word, because each syllable was so raw and honest.  I sat on my cloud and witnessed something perfectly beautiful.  Pure and genuine love that was seeped in a shot of tender pain and fear.  A humbled love.

They each spoke of how he had been there for them. How they did not know the man, most of us knew.  How his smile lit up a space.  How he was so filled with love.  And when they spoke of the love he had for his children....you could tell they knew them well even though they'd barely met before today.  But it was the words of the youngest man in the group that keep rattling around inside my head.  

He was incredibly shaken and the sentences were not easy to get out, but he described him as his "best friend".  He said he had never had a friend before him.  Not a real friend.  There had been people in his life that he thought at the time were his friends, but they were not.  He said this..."when we met, I had nothing to give him and he had nothing to give me."  

Those words left his mouth and seemed to get stuck in my throat. "I had nothing to give him and he had nothing to give me."

Now, I know what he meant was that neither of them had a single "material" object to offer the other one to make their existence of any value.  No money, no drugs, no  cell phones, or stereo equipment...none of things he had traded in the past for "friendship".  Nevertheless, they became instant friends.  Best friends.  But what I worried he still did not realize, is that they both had everything to give.  They had everything to give that the other one really needed at that moment and for those endless months in recovery.  I kept thinking as he continued with his testimony to his friend and their journey that the statement would be resolved, that he would reveal the moment he realized they had exactly what the other needed...but it never came.

WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO GIVE.  Each and every one of us has something inside that can change the life of another and yet I think so few can see it in themselves.  

So, to the men of John 3:16 in Arkansas.....today all the compliments go to you.  You are strong in ways you still have yet to discover. You are going to save lives.  You have likely already saved lives.  You inspired me and made me think.  You changed me because you indeed, have so much to give and you offered it up right there on that podium today without even realizing it and with no fear of judgement.  You are heroes.  

 

 

 

 

 

 



5 Responses

Tammy Terhune
Tammy Terhune

September 21, 2018

This is so true, these guys show each other and others a faith and strength that impacts lives forever. I know they made an impact on me and I thank John 3:16 for being there to give these guys Hope, Salvation, their families, a life back better than before and the ability and knowledge that their trust should be put in God, we all mess up but God can take that mess and make a Message to his glory for those you may never even realize, if you allow God . God bless each and every guy there, John 3:17 as well

Denise
Denise

September 21, 2018

My oldest son was one of those young men. It took me forever to read this because the tears would not stop coming. Tears of joy. I am so proud of so many of these young men and not only what they have accomplished but what they have yet to accomplish. The joy they will experience from kindness, their unwaivering faith in a higher power, their servant nature, the newfound love of mankind – all of these things are my joyful tears. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. I am so grateful for your kind words about the many young men I call my new sons.

Bobby Shields
Bobby Shields

September 21, 2018

You will sometimes never know the magnitude in which you change someone’s life, don’t ever miss the opportunity to preach the powerful work that the Lord has done in your lives. He’s a loving and forgiving father, he will leave the 99 in search of you.

Karen
Karen

September 21, 2018

Beautiful my friend. 💛💙❤💚💜😇💟

Ceci Williams
Ceci Williams

September 21, 2018

Thank you for preserving some of the beauty of the service in your words here. The men who spoke revealed their hearts to honor their friend. What a testimony of the friendship they shared and of the man whose heart they had known.

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