Self from Self (and that sinking feeling)

“Absence from those we love is self from self – a deadly banishment.”

William Shakespeare

The swing set scrapes,

Chains on chains on chains,

Building, growing, ever growling out its heavy reproof

Against the selfish, the proud, the aloof.

A reminder of what has been lost,

As if I needed a reminder.

God is faithful,

Burning, burning, always burning

Down the barriers that kept us apart.

Eternal hope and temporary sorrow,

Why do I find myself stretched between the two?

Force this will from my hands,

Fight back the sadness and cleanse the shame.

Unholy tongues lifted to the refiner’s fire,

But a mind full of the ashes from a funeral pyre.

Lord, the sadness is tinged with overwhelming  joy

But reignited at the words his parents say

“we miss our boy”

Your will be done,

Not my own, Your kingdom come.

But please come quick,

I’m feeling sick with longing.

You ran life’s race and hit the finish line early.

But the sadness is not quenched by trite words,

The loneliness is not overcome by technicalities

Or even the glorious hope that I will see you again.

Christ, grant me the peace I so desperately need.

Mend the broken hearts left in the wake of a life,

A life well lived but nonetheless

Gone too early.

I know that I’ve blogged and blogged and blogged about this. But I cannot help it. The past two days I’ve been crippled under the weight of an awful sadness that it seems I can’t escape. I do not question God’s faithfulness one bit. I believe God is good, beyond good, infact. I believe His will is perfect and good and wonderful and always seeks out the best for those who love him.

I know this.

But my heart is still broken. The healing process is slow and steady. And, as much as I try to run from the fact that I am sad, I cannot. I cannot escape that I lost one of my best friends. The best of the best. That sticks with you. I went to see his parents a couple days ago. They are incredibly strong people and I love them very much. Pray for them. They need it. Being in his house, hearing his mom and dad speak, it made my heart ache and rejoice at the same time. That’s the overwhelming thing for me in all of this, wrestling exuberant joy and crushing despair at the same time. I don’t understand my emotions.

But God does. And in Christ, I have hope. If I could encourage you to do anything, it’s this: please, do not miss an opportunity. Don’t count on tomorrow, because it may not come for you. Live today for God, who beyond a shadow of a doubt knows what you need. Do good to others. Love people relentlessly. Don’t occupy yourself with being on top of the political landscape because that does not matter. Don’t let your mind be filled with boycotts and laws and presidents and scandal. Don’t let it be inundated with who culture tells you to be. Let your life be filled with Christ. He is the only thing worth holding onto. None of us are promised tomorrow, and that’s something I am sure of.

There are a million things on my mind. My heart aches for the youth I’ve been privileged to work with for the past few years, my heart aches for Jordan’s parents and all our friend and his family. My heart aches for my family, for all those to come after me. I want the world to know Jesus. I desperately want that because you can’t put stock in anything else.

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’  As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” -James 4:13-17

Churches! Stop your grumbling! Quit holding on to dead tradition and take hold of the LIFE that is found in Christ!

Teenagers, love your parents and trash the lies you’ve been told about what to do with your life! Take hold of Jesus, he is the only good and true thing!

Parents! Love your children, you never know when you will lose them! Teach them Jesus and please let go of everything else that DOESN’T MATTER!

Children! Listen to your parents, obey them, love them!

May we all throw away the sins that drag us to the bottom of our sorrow like an anchor to the sea. Look to Christ, look at the man on the cross who paid our debt. Let him raise us from our inhibited state of sinfulness. Throw off the dead body of drugs, alcohol, pride, greed, porn, lies, gossip, anger, fear, judgement, and whatever else that weighs you down and keeps you in the grave. DO IT NOW BECAUSE YOU ARE NEVER SURE YOU HAVE TOMORROW. I MEAN IT.




That was unexpected, but I won’t censor it. I won’t cut it down.

I am grieving and i’ve finally accepted that. But the fire burning inside me is authentic. I don’t plan on letting it die.

I want to finish by saying this: Sorrow lasts for the night. Joy comes in the morning.


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