After a few years of Leukemia, Don (an old family friend) was finally called home to be where he wanted to be the most. He was ready.
He was the type of guy who I never knew if he was serious or if he was joking. He'd joke so often that on occasions when he'd say something serious, there were awkward moments because I inappropriately laughed at him. But he would just keep going until I realized he was serious. He was a man whose gift was to bring joy to the people around him. Even in his suffering, he had a smile on his face and made sure that others did as well.
As I sit here this morning, I hear Micah cooing in the other room, Quinton outside beating the ground with a stick, my brother in his bedroom listening to his music and my other brother playing with the dog. When I get on Facebook I see friends and family posting things about their day to day lives, sending goofy messages, and just sharing things just for the sake of sharing. So many lives all woven together in different ways but yet we all are looking for the same things: Love, peace, and happiness.
And while I am sad when I think about the fact that Don won't be at our family Thanksgiving dinners anymore or he won't ever sneak up behind me again and scare me by making a weird noise in my ear, I am also happy because I realize that for him, death was just the beginning of the life that we are all looking for but can't fully obtain while we are still on this earth. His joy, love, and peace are full and complete. He wouldn't want to be back here with us if he could. That knowledge makes me happy.
Today I realize that what matters most in this world is not being the richest or the best looking or the smartest or even the healthiest. The most important thing is being the type of person, like Don, who will remind people of things that are of God: things like love, loyalty, peace, joy, righteousness, and kindness just to name a few.
So as I am sure this week will bring many moments of sadness because the world is short one of God's most beloved servants, I am thankful that Don has given me this reminder today.
"That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18