As always, my weekly goal was to write about how one could bridge their passion with purpose, but I suddenly learned of an unexpected event that forced me to express my thoughts concerning the loss of a dear friend back in Michigan.
Most people will agree with me that we can’t be certain of our longevity here on Earth. While some individuals may experience an unplanned shorten life, others are fortunate to live a long healthy life. To me it doesn’t feel right that the imbalance act of death is favorable for some but not for others. It seems that we all should be given an opportunity to live a long/healthy life.
I so appreciate seeing the many Facebook comments and references about John L. – our friend, father, brother and confidant. Its time like this when we need to comfort each other as instructed in the Bible – “All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” (1 Corinthians 1:3-5)
A good friend of mine John L. passed away this week and tried to find solace in his passing. I can go as far back in time when he, another schoolmate Tony R. and I were creatively talented in art class. Mr. Woods (the Art Teacher) always complimented us on our adolescent drawings and made us feel that we were the Renaissance trio of Filippo Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo (Simoni) of our times!
When most boys discover bondable friendships through sports, my friendship bond with John started through the work of art. I don’t believe we ever attempted to single out one or another in art class; there was a sincere respect on our parts to draw comparisons and contrasts to the uniqueness of our finished art production.
We continued a friendship throughout the entire school years at Walter F. White Elementary School and later at River Rouge High School. In all occasions, John took every advantage to perform the solo act of setting the comedic tone when it was time to have a good time. When in high school, John went on to become more involved in sports while I focused my direction on academic pursuits.
After high school graduation, we would only see each other occasionally when I came to Detroit to spend time with my family. It was extremely comforting to me when I learned that he desired to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. While maintaining his witty attitude, he was sincere about gravitating toward a meaningful life to know Christ and wanted to devoted more time to study the Bible.
Two years ago would mark the last time I would sit down with John along with other friends. Oddly at that very moment now locked in my mind, he reminded me about the days of Mr. Wood’s art class.
How do I succeed through this period of sorrow? First – knowing that God still remains on the throne and His plans are designed in mystical ways to deposit a lesson for us all. Second – I usually find a way to honor loved ones who leave us so soon. I believe you can always find metallic luster of precious diamond qualities lying beneath the soul of an individual. For John, I felt he had a gift of making people feel better about themselves [especially after a good laugh]! Prayerfully I’ll plan to share my stories of John through courses of mentorship programs, donate to charities [in honor of him] that brings joy to various children hospitals, my speaking events, future international mission trips and maybe join with other high-school alumns and create a foundation in his name. I’m sure he’ll be please to know we’re doing something good versus nothing at all. What about you?
Let’s go people and do some good!