Rich It has been ten years…A?A?

So much has changed in my life.A?A? So much is different now.A?A? But that day ten years ago, September 19, 1997, sometimes still hurts like it was yesterday.

When I look back at myself, 25 years ago, with the eyes of today – a parent, a husband, a follower of Christ – I can see the frustration I caused my parents.A?A? To them, it must have seemed like a Godsend that Rich entered our lives.A?A? Here was a Christian man whose words actually stuck and whose opinions where can i buy nolvadex online, order lioresal. mattered to a son who didn’t want to fit in with his peers and who didn’t want to listen to his parents.A?A? Here was a man who would stay at their house for days at a time, but whose influence would last for months in between visits.

In Rich, I found a Christian who wasn’t phony – an actor for any situation.A?A? To me, he was a barefoot prophet and a rascal, unwilling to compromise belief, but unable to live by the traditions of men.

He was dangerous – he hitchhiked from place-to-place, sometimes arriving at a concert venue with only 30 minutes to spare because he had to walk the last two miles from the interstate to the church he was singing at.A?A?

He was cantakerous – when asked to change his pants (jeans with holes in the knees)A?A?before playing at CBC (now CCU) at a reunion concert, he took them off onstage and went to get a horrendous pair of white courderoys that looked far worse than the jeans (which were still lying on the stage in mute protest).

He was funny – his humor, which was often biting, was also self-deprecating.A?A? The targets of his wit were often pastors who thought too much of themselves, an industry that was in the business of selling gilded cowpies, and people who would claim friendship if it meant getting another buck.

He was absent-minded – I remember one morning that he was interrupted while shaving and went most of the day with three-day stubble on one side of his face.

He was wounded – when you talked to him, you always knew that he was uncomfortable in his skin – that the world was truly a love/hate relationship.

He was sometimes grouchy.A?A? If he never ripped into you for something, you probably didn’t know him all that well.

He was insightful – to this day, I’ve still never met another person who could absorb a concept or a situation and boil it down into a sentence or two that spoke far more than a 30-minute sermon.

Bare feet and a can of diet CokeMost of all, though, you could tell that he loved his Maker with a reckless abandon that few of us ever dare to imagine.

To this time, I have been blessed in that I have never have lost an immediate family member, for which I am incredibly thankful.A?A? So – how it would feel to lose a father, mother, brother, sister, wife, son or daughter is not something I can completely relate to – nor do I wish it, though the day will likely come.A?A? With that said, though, I must say that I feel like September 19, 1997 was the day on which I lost a God-parent.

So many Christians I know miss Rich because of his music.A?A? That is fine.A?A? I would trade all of that, though, were God to offer an alteration to that day ten years ago…A?A? I just miss Rich…

I am thinking now of old Moses: sitting on a mountain – sitting with God – looking across the Jordan into the Promised land. I am thinking of the lump in his throat, that weary ache in his heart, that nearly bitter longing sweetened by the company of God…

And then God – the great eternal God – takes Moses’, thin, worn, thread-bare little body into His hands – hands into whose breath marked off the heavens – and with these enormous and enormously gentle hands, God folds Moses’ pale lifeless arms across his chest for burial.

I don’t know if God wept at Moses’ funeral. I don’t know if He cried when he killed the first of His creatures, to take it’s skins to clothe this man’s earliest ancestors. I don’t know who will bury me.

…Of God, on whose breast old Moses’ lays his head like John the beloved would lay his on the Christ’s. And God sits there quietly with Moses – for Moses – and lets his little man cry out his last moments of life.

But I look back over the moments of my life and see the hands that carried Moses to his grave lifting me out of mine. In remembering, I go back to these places where God met me and I met Him again and I lay my head on His breast, and He shows me the land beyond the Jordan and I suck into my lungs the fragrance of His breath, the power of His presence.

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Thank you, Lord, for the time you shared Rich with us.A?A? Thank you, infinitely more, for your son and for his killing death so that we all might be together with you someday – face to face.


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