Monday, September 18, 2006

a day of good-bye's, pt. 1

this morning I said good-bye to a great friend.
This is one of my earliest memories of him. We were sitting at Detroit Metro Aiport, waiting to leave for a missions trip to Amsterdam. I remember this because he was showing us his hat, which had velcro, removable name tags. It was the start of a beautiful friendship!
Jeff is one of the greatest people I've ever known. His joy and passion for God are genuine, as is his love for others. We spent a lot of time together on the Amsterdam trip and quickly became close. He was almost instantly like a brother. We spent a lot of time together when we first got back from Amsterdam, too. Time talking about and processing the trip, and just trying to figure out life in general. Our friendship was unique right from the start.

See, most friendships (at least... most of mine) start tentatively. Most friendships go through that awkward "getting to know each other" stage, but for some reason, Jeff and I skipped that part. I'm not sure why, but we did. We seemed to feel comfortable with and close to each other almost immediately. Though I'm sure he's used to that, it was a first for me. And it was a tremendous blessing. Jeff has taught me so much about feeling free to express my emotions. God has used him to show me the beauty and power in embracing and enjoying your individuality, instead of trying to hide it. I'm a freer person because of him, and I can't say that about many people.

This morning I was blessed to watch Jeff get baptized. In true "Shrilly" fashion, it was unlike any baptism I've ever seen. The fountain outside of the Royal Oak public library will never be the same! I'm not even sure it was legal but... whatever. It's wonderful to know that he's embarking on the next season of his life with the full annointing of God. It began to rain near the end... a baptism for us all. It was wonderful. And when it was over, I hugged him good-bye, walked back to my car, and cried most of the way home.

Though I know this isn't a "forever" good-bye, it's still a good-bye. And it's still sad. I'm certain Jeff and I will be in each others lives for a long time. But.. for now at least... ours will be a long-distance friendship, and that will be hard. I'll miss seeing his face light up as he tells a story. I'll miss his crazy sound effects. I'll most certainly miss his hugs, and I'll miss walking along the streets of Royal Oak talking about life or talking about nothing at all.
I'm a better person for knowing him and being known by him.

Godspeed and God bless, my friend. I love you.

2 Comments:

Blogger John M said...

I truely think that several of us are going to need a 'life after shrilly' support group.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Stef said...

i think you may be right

8:47 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home