Today is a day of remembering two individuals – one brings a smile since it is his birthday, the other a tear. The tear comes because he is has passed unexpectedly. The reason that they are together in my mind is due to the fact that they shared a common belief. In ways different yet the same, they lived the reality of David’s advice; “Despise the despicable. Keep your word even when it costs you.” (Psalm 15.4)
I close my eyes and replay the warning signs of the passing to come. Among others, yesterday I almost ran over a pair of sandals in the middle of the road. It was as if someone had been walking across the street, taking a shortcut from point a to b, when he was raptured. It is a masculine description because the sandals were very similar to a pair of mine. As I look at the pair, I made a mental note to check in with friends. I was sure that someone was going to be leaving unexpectedly. As I worked through my list, I got the call.
Unexpected news often triggers a period of reflection. As I walked through the ways he had touched my life, I realized there was a lesson that has stayed with me. It was a lesson he shared with another that marks the passing of time with today’s date. Both have modeled and reminded me of the value that comes in “despising the despicable.” It does not end there, “keep you word, even when it costs you.” Their journey has turned the words from a metaphor and cliché into a living example that I can see, touch, and have experienced.
To both I owe a debt of thanks. To one, I add my prayer that he found what he always reached for. I know you are a child of God’s. To the other, I will celebrate your life and the gift it has been to me. Life was introduced us. Now that they have shared, it is my turn. Today is an opportunity for action.