He and I haven't seen each other since those days back at the little small Bible college in the Iowa countryside. But, thanks to Facebook, we had reconnected and been involved, from afar, with each other's lives.
He was a pastor in Illinois.
He had a wife.
He had 6 children.
He was really one of the nicest, sweetest people I have ever met. I can remember so many times back in college when he was that listening ear for someone going through some stupid relationship crisis. The thing was, Steve never made you feel stupid or that you were being overly emotional.
He just listened.
He just gave a hug.
He just cracked a sly little joke to make you laugh...even just a little.
He was just....nice.
Again, I haven't seen him face to face in over 20 years....but he would send me words of encouragement. He would comment on my posts. He made you feel like he really cared.
This really struck me pretty hard today.
I am crying for his wife.
I am crying for his 6 children (who aren't as young as my 6)....but....this is still their daddy. You know?
But, of course, I also turned it into being about me too.
I put myself in Linnea's shoes.
What if something happened to Rainman unexpectedly?
Ugg....I can't even go there.
It was bad enough when my dad died without warning.
Death is hard.
Yes, as Christians, we have hope. We have Jesus. We know the end here...isn't....the end.
But, man oh man.....it is lonely here without our....people. It is crushing to try to move on without them. It is almost impossible to let yourself laugh again or have hope for....everything.
The realities of life outside of the lonely aspect get to me too.
How do you pay bills....how do you pay your mortgage....do you stay in the house you had together.....do you keep the bed you slept in together......how do you survive the first Thanksgiving....Christmas....birthday....kid activity?
Again....I can't go there.
I woke up this morning singing the song, I Have To Believe, in my head. I actually get to sing this one on Sunday, but the words spoke to me in a different way today.
Then, my alarm went off and the song Because He Lives by Matt Maher came on. I just laid in bed listening and didn't turn off my alarm. Rainman came out of the bathroom because he thought I had already gotten up and forgotten to turn off my alarm. He listened for a few minutes, nodded his head, and went back to shaving.
I hope you have time to listen to both of these songs today. Listen and really let the words sink in.
Even if you are aren't grieving the loss of a friend or loved one.....let them have a chance to speak to your soul.