Wednesday, April 23, 2014

People #1

I've done a lousy job of writing for...well, way too long. Nothing I can do but start writing.

Perhaps it's approaching 50 (not quite yet; I turn 49 next month), but I've been thinking a lot about people lately. Facebook has helped me keep in touch, or at least keep an eye on, many people who have been a part of my life.

I realize I have been very fortunate to have had relationships with many, many wonderful people over the years. Sometimes I get a chance to tell them, and I often spend time remembering, reminiscing.

So I'm going to use those people, and the memories, and the stories, to work on writing. I'm not writing for an audience, but for myself. NA maybe if I write about you, or someone you know, you'll be interested.

I'm only going to use first names, and if you recognize yourself and don't want me to identify you, let me know. I don't think any of my friends are in hiding or running from the law, but you never know.

I'm going to try to be spontaneous--pick people randomly.

Mike--I haven't been in touch with him in several years, but saw him on facebook tonight, and immediately smiled. Mike and I were never super close, but we were friends for many years. We went to church together, and participated in our church's singles ministry. We were involved in small group ministry together. We went to baseball games together.

Mike is one of the kindest, most gentle and encouraging people I've known. I never heard him say anything negative about another. He has a good sense of humor, I remember him always smiling. 

And Mike is a servant. He was always there when someone was moving, or had a big job that required help. 

I have one funny memory of Mike. As years pass, stories like this grow. So this may have only happened once or twice, but over time, the legend has grown.

Like many of us who were students or in ministry, Mike didn't have a lot of money, and he was frugal. We would often go out to lunch or dinner in groups of folks from the singles ministry.

Mike would not order any food, or he would just get something small like a salad. Then, after a while, he would lean over, and ask, quietly, smoothly, with a big grin, "Todd--are you going to eat those fries?"
"Kevin--are you finished with your chicken?"
"Steve--how's that pie? Looks good!"

Mike ate better than most of us, getting a little here, a little there, from the rest of the group. But no one saw Mike as a moocher--he was too nice, too funny, and such a great guy. 

I haven't kept in touch with Mike, but I think of him from time to time. His example of loving and giving and serving others has stayed with me. I hope I live out a little of the example Mike set.

Without fail, a conversation with Mike always made me better. You're a good man, Mike; I'm grateful for the time I had with you!

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