It’s funny how something that happened more than six years ago can be mentioned and bring to mind a flood of raw emotion that I really thought I had dealt with. Turns out I did nothing more than bury the feelings so deep because I was not equipped to deal with them then.
I am not 100% sure I am right now, either.
The anger, frustration and sadness, I felt in 2007 was at times overwhelming. The complete futility I felt at the news of my cousin’s death was only compounded a couple months later when I learned of the death of a high school friend.
They were both known to me as Michael. Well, Mike – my cousin and Dorman – whose first name was Craig but none of us – to this day – call him that.
My cousin and I were never close and Dorman – would not have been considered great friend but we were friends and THAT’S what matters.
Earlier tonight someone sent me a link to Dorman’s head stone and I was sick to my stomach – like I was much the second half of “07. Questioning my life, my faith, my purpose my motives and all too aware of my shortcomings.
Oh yeah, and I was pissed that answers were not rapidly doled out.
As I get older, I have come to realize that we’re not always ready for the answers we need or think we’re ready for when we ask the questions.
I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I knew everything I needed to know or worse what I thought I wanted to know at the exact moment I wanted to know something.
The thing that haunts me about both deaths is the fact that the last time I spoke to my cousin or Dorman, I had begun my relationship with Christ and knew enough to, at least plant a seed for them both to find their own way to a life saving relationship with Jesus Christ but in both cases I side stepped the opportunity. I turned away from the responsibility to care for and to love my family and my friend.
I am sorry to you both for my mistake. I hope someone else did my job – no, I PRAY that someone else did what God put on my plate to do. I pray that someday both of you will come to me in Heaven and say “It’s OK, we heard the gospel and we’re here with you.”
If not, their lives are on me. Their eternities were placed in my hands and I dropped them. I let them down. I let their families – my family – down. I had information that could have changed the forever and I kept it to myself.
Information that CAN save you too if you’re willing to listen.
And why? Fear. “Yellow freakin’ fear.” This is something that I have to live with, something that I GET to live with because at the end of the day – I am still here. They’re not.
I have seldom spoken about either death and I never dreamed that I would write something about this and post it – but that’s what I feel I must do right now – how can I not?
I have already possibly cost two people an eternity in Heaven how can I not tell you that it was a mistake to NOT say to my friend and my cousin – “Hey, you know what, I don’t have all the answers but I know this – Jesus loved you so much that he died a brutal, ugly, horrible death FOR YOU on a cross. And the best part is that he DID NOT STAY DEAD! He is alive – today right now and he loves you more than you can imagine.”
How can I not say that to YOU?
You can choose to believe that or not – but the bible promises that IF you choose to believe it you’ll see Jesus some day in Heaven.
Here’s the other thing I KNOW and this part may not sound loving but I MUST say it – YOU WILL LIVE FOR ETERNITY – that’s pretty cool right? Everyone wants to live forever – and you will.
It is up to you to decide WHERE you live out that eternity. Will it be in a very real place called Hell – separated from God or IN His presence?
Despite knowing that it is your responsibility to make that decision I have zero doubt that it’s MY responsibility to make you aware that you have the decision to make. A responsibility I wish I had taken seriously for Mike and Dorman.
If anything I said has made an impact, struck a chord, even a minor one – I beg you to talk to someone about it. If not me, find someone that follows Christ. Not JUST a person that goes to church – they may be as lost as you. Please – come find me in Heaven. I am begging you – come find me.