We lost a very dear friend a couple of weeks ago. Young, (by our standards) vibrant, full of life. The kind of gentle soul who lit up a room, and took the time to greet each person he passed. There was no chance of feeling invisible when he was around. He made a point to seek you out, to ask how you were doing, to pause long enough for conversation and to deepen a friendship.
His laughter was contagious, and his eyes in a permanent twinkle, like he was about to spill a secret that might allow you to be as happy as he was.
He served as the sparkplug in our church, and it’s difficult to imagine entering through those doors without him waiting there.
But I only saw him on Sunday mornings, so I know it is much worse for his wife and three young adult sons who remain in complete shock.
But this is what I should have said as I wrestled with finding the right words of comfort at his graveside service.
They say we base our idea of what God must be like on our own father. In other words, we tend to pattern our expectations of God after whatever relationship we experience with our own father. Whether it be strict, demanding, angry, or carefree, fun-loving and dependable.
I have the distinct advantage in this. Since I lost my own father when I was a baby, I get to choose. I spent my whole life watching Daddies in action, studying them to determine what characteristics I’d most need in a father.
My view of God is untainted. No disappointments. No anger. No should-have-beens.
Just a beautiful blend of all the best Dad traits I’ve taken note of through the years.
To Rick and his family, especially his sons, I want you to know this.
I’d choose him.
My view of God is a lot like my view of my friend Rick.
Fun-loving, with a great sense of humor, dependable, always present in the moment, protective, bragging about his family on a regular basis, loyal, kind and choosing to see the best in everyone. Competitive, yet forgiving. Ready to lead while quietly inspiring you to follow. And glad to see you, always.
Truth is, none of us know what to say to help make this any easier.
But I wanted you to know this much.
I’d choose him.
Thanks for sharing him with us.
May God hold you close. Forever.