A Good Man
A kind friend from Riversdale (where I used to live) rang me last night and told me that John had passed away.
He had been a good friend to me but I hadn’t had much to do with him for quite a number of years now and so I was quite surprised in some ways to find myself wiping unexpected tears from my eyes.
Maybe all we ever really want in life is to mean something to someone and he meant something to me, more than he would have known and I hope that maybe his family might stumble across this simple blog sometime and know that his life touched mine and made a difference.
Buechner wrote, “To lend someone a hand when they are falling, maybe that’s the only thing that really matters in the end” and if any words are sacred to me it is those beautiful words.
There were two specific times in Riverdale John lent me a hand when I was falling. One was the death of a dear friend and one was the loss of a business and in both instances, while the winds of change whispered cruelly in my ear threatening to engulf me in chaos’s sickening embrace, John stood with me and helped me and cared for me.
There are few people in life with kinder and more generous hearts than John and he lived his Christian faith with conviction and consistency.
John has now gone to meet his maker and if I remember John well, he will have started his conversation with Jesus by telling a poorly timed, ill-conceived attempt at a joke that won’t be very funny. But I’m sure Jesus will laugh politely and then say the following.
“John. Good to see ya, come on in mate and thanks very much. For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me water, I was naked and you clothed me, I was in prison and you visited me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was a stranger and you invited me in. Because whatever you did for the least of the people in the world, you did for me.”
Like countless others, I was one of the “least” that John helped and I am forever grateful.
John was a good man and a kind man and a nice man and a humble man and the world was blessed to have had him and is poorer for having lost him.
When the one great scorer comes to write against your name, it matters not who won or lost but how you played the game.
Well played John. Well played.
My thoughts and prayers are with Heather and family at this time.