As we travel the road of our lives we know that our individual journeys are unique. The scenery, the signposts, the mile markers are ours and ours alone. Yet in our solitary wandering we cross paths with many other nomads who, like us, are pressing on toward home. In those moments we have the opportunity to serve with our gifts and passions. Sometimes those intersections bring moments of clarity that sharpen and define who we are.
It is through life’s meetings and partings that we enjoy the richness of living. We are shaped by the encounters of both loved ones and strangers who, through their words and actions, guide us onward.
Walt was a man who in personality, outlook, and demeanor was very much my twin. He faced difficult challenges in his life, from military service to chronic pain. His journey was very different from mine and while I didn’t always agree with his choices, I consistently felt that were I in the same situation I would probably have made the same ones, good and bad, right and wrong. The weight of his infirmities wore on him, stooping his body and lessening his interactions. Through it all he loved deeply, pouring out what he had to offer through soft words and a tender heart.
He passed away recently, his journey homeward now complete.
His parting words included the thought that he had finished everything he was sent here to do and it was ok for him to go. His battle with fleshly struggles nearing their end, he longed for the embracing peace and comfort of the other side.
When the time comes and our own journeys are nearing completion may we each be able to whisper that we have completed the tasks placed before us and we long for the comfort of our Heavenly Father. To achieve this requires only that we be good stewards of the gifts, experiences, and passions provided us as we travel along our destined routes. Pour all you have into those who cross your path and they will do the same, repeating your gift across the map. Use yourself fully until there is nothing left and then rest in anticipation of what lies beyond.
Walt, you were wrong on one thing. When you shared your profound words you had not yet completed all you were sent here to do. I think teaching me this one final lesson was the last item on your list.
Rest well, my brother. I will see you soon.