Thinking of "Joe"

"Joe" was one of my best friends (I'm using a pseudo-name for privacy). I say "was" because our relationship is not what it used to be.

I met "Joe" my freshman year at college, and we immediately connected on many levels. Sports. Love of the outdoors. Politics. Zest for education and broadening our horizons. Living life for all its worth. Leadership. Cigars. And especially, Christ.

"Joe" introduced me to Rich Mullins - the first Christian musician who truly impressed me. He challenged me to pour myself into my daily quiet times. He reminded me a lot of King David - a warrior poet, a true renaissance man. He was a major player in my spiritual growth and development. Iron sharpened iron.

I don't know when or where or how it happened. Maybe it was from his overbearing father's unmet expectations. Maybe it was on his 100-day-trek across Europe the summer after he graduated from undergrad. Or maybe during the other trips he took to other countries. All I know is somewhere, somehow "Joe" lost his faith. Somehow his view of Christ as Savior, Redeemer, and Lord became blurred and compromised and "narrow-minded." Silver tarnished. Iron rusted and became brittle.

Our last conversation (via email) ended like this:
I respect you and your faith. All I ask is that you respect my new outlook on life. Please respect that I have put a lot of thought into this decision. If you want to continue our relationship, please keep your thoughts about Jesus to yourself. You can not change my mind. "Joe"
Today I fasted from sunrise to sunset. Mainly to prepare and to reflect upon Easter. As I did so, I was reminded that Easter is a celebration of Resurrection. Despair gave way to Hope. Gloom took a backseat to Joy. Death exited. Life triumphantly took center stage. And I prayed for "Joe" that this Easter would be the Resurrection of his faith in Christ.

May He truly become ALIVE in YOU this weekend!


Derrick Henslee said...

It's a real mystery how someone can "taste" and still make decisions like this. I guess it challenges us to keep each other accountable. I'll pray for "Joe."

EthansMama said...

"Joe" reminds me of my sister. He'll be in my prayers.


Robyn said...

Joe is still God's child, and he can again be pulled from the fire that he is suffering on this earth, just like he was when he first accepted his loving Savior...In the end, he still knows who loves him.