I grew up without a lot of uncles, at least that I knew of. With one exception, I got to meet every one of them in the course of the years. The mystery was my mother’s oldest brother, Ike. When I finally did meet Ike, I was truly amazed! He was funny, witty, and full of incredible stories. I have no idea where truth began or ended when it came to Ike. In many ways I do not really care. Ike was one of the most genuinely happy go lucky individuals who had a ready smile for anyone that came within his sight. I know he must have struggled with his own demons but he never let this impact he willingness to be fully present when you were with him.
Ike ran away from home when he was fourteen. The accepted story was that the religious pressure from his parents was more than he was willing to tolerate. I wish I knew the fully story, there is always more. With time, distance, and age, Ike seemed to have moved away from the pain of that age. In hindsight, there was a lot more to the story than anyone knew.
Success did not come easy. There was a military career, family, and a story that has come and gone. In his latter years he came back to his sisters and found himself welcomed simply because he was family. He honored and treasured that gift in a way that was uniquely his own.
After eight plus decades, life came to an end. For Ike there was a turning point that caught everyone off guard. After all the independence, living a life with a god of self at the centered, Ike turned to the God that had always been with him. I do not know where or when in the darkness of the night that God’s love found its home in Ike. I know I am looking forward to being reunited with God and Ike.
“They lived well and with dignity and now they're finally at peace.” (Isaiah 57.2)
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