Funny how birthdays can make you simultaneously aware of the preciousness of your life…and your own mortality.  Having said that, I’m not afraid of dying.  I mean yeah, I wonder what the afterlife is truly like, as do most people, but I have no fear of being called to God for some sort of cosmic beatdown by the principal.  Jesus is, has been, and always will be my defender.  I think the day you die will be amazing, like being reborn into a world where love is a physical presence in the universe.  Where the unyielding ache in my heart will finally be quenched forever.

What does concern me somewhat, though, is what I will leave behind.

notes3There’s this memorial down the hill from where I live.  A very good man died there, having been hit by a woman driver.  Father of 2 precious little girls, and a real example to the community in that area, one only take a look at the memorials and notes that others have left to get an idea of what this man was like.  Take a look at the pictures I took today of that memorial.  The bike hung high on the phone pole has a cloth banner on it that some schmuck painted over.  I saw it before that happened and it said CYCLIST WAS KILLED HERE in big read letters.

I’m fascenated by the passers by who left notes, who felt the grief and sadness and loss of one more person on this earth who lived a quiet life of excellence that was quietly beheld by those around him in his community.  You read the sorrow and the sadness and this communal feeling of loss, and you begin to realize that there is so much more to this creation of the Father’s than the sheer brutality and ugliness it’s capable of.

notes1My mind turns to others.  I know so many people like this, guys who continue this journey we’re all on, living above one’s flesh, above the cry and din of the flesh whose desires are constantly out of reach of fulfillment.  When everything around them says to quit pretending, quit punishing yourself and all those around you by just living the truth of your life — when everything in the media teaches that homosexual sex is natural and fulfilling — for them to stand and continue the battle, to genuinely suffer for the cause of Christ and to really hold close to the sacrifice that entails — will these men and women get their memorial?  When they pass on to the next life, will those who are left behind even have the faintest idea of the depths of their spiritual struggle, the tsunami of pain they sometimes faced, watching everyone else live a life they could never dream of?  I know of men — and bless them, some of them write me — who are without a doubt unbelievably fucking courageous.  Warriors all.  Some of them are married, raising children, obeying Christ and being the heads of their families, yet holding onto a powerful desire to be with other men, to know a touch and a closeness that they can never allow themselves.  At their end of days, it makes me want to scream.  THERE WAS AN EPIC SPIRITUAL BATTLE HERE!  THIS MAN CONTENDED WITH SATAN HIMSELF AND DID NOT FAIL AND DID NOT FALTER!  JESUS WAS AND IS NOW HIS KING!  Then again, one does that and one does not get invited again to too many funerals.  But still.  You want people to know the titanic, epic struggle and just how precious, rare and beautiful their victories are.  Warriors deserve no less.

notes2There is a moment of weird and beautiful intimacy and fulfillment that stirs my heart and gives me strength during times like this.  Revelation 2:17 says:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

In biblical times, white stones were used as invitations, with pertinent details written on the stone.  But for those of us whom God labels conquers, we not only get a special invitation from God, but a secret name.  A moment of identity known only between God and yourself and an invitation to share a moment of intimacy between Maker and his Creation.  Like Caephus becoming Peter, the new name will be right and just and fair and the delight over this intimate secret between us and God…a more amazing, fulfilling reward I cannot imagine.  To know and to be truly, finally known.  What I think we’re all genuinely after.

So on this, my 48th birthday, I am thinking of you.  All of you guys who struggle against the torrents this world throws at you.  Who fall, struggle, and stand again without fail.  I love you guys.  Stay strong.


~ by WriterRand on February 20, 2009.

4 Responses to “48”

  1. You, my friend, are a great fighter and a winner. I know you will continue to accomplish things you never thought possible!

    Sure, life is a difficult battle, but Jesus is so worth it!

  2. “A very good man died there, having been hit by a woman driver.”

    I’m not certain what the significance of the driver’s gender is but the truth is the bike hit her.

  3. DID it? I must have missed that in the notes. The gender was no big deal, really, other than it was a detail in the notes that I remembered.

    Are you close by? You must be…did you know the man?

  4. very touching post

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