Today I met my little brother and wife at Arby's for some lunch. It's impossible for me to spend anytime with Luke without at some point being reminded of Gordy, our oldest brother. They look alike, act alike and giggle alike. The reminders were a tad bittersweet as I looked out the window of Arby's to the North Platte Mall where I was shopping ten years ago today when I was given a phone to be told Gordy had passed away. In complete disbelief and shock, I experienced
for the first time the true meaning of heart break. I cannot remember much about that long drive from North Platte to the ranch where the family was gathering. I do recall a couple things; probably the most important was the comfort from the presence of a friend. I don't remember anything Amanda said to me that night. Knowing Amanda, she probably didn't feel the need to fill the silence with worthless, "churchy" words or advice. She didn't rehearse clever comments or give me a mini sermon bent to keep my way of thinking on the straight and narrow. She just let me cry when I wanted to cry, listened when I wanted to talk and gave me a hug when I needed a hug. I thank God for Amanda and her friendship especially during that time. God used her to show me a picture of Himself and His way of comforting. As I read the Scriptures, I find God's presence offered as a true form of comfort. Psalm 23:4 "though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff they comfort me." His presence brings the comfort. Since that day, I have learned more and more the value of experiencing the presence of God leading me to name "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" as my favorite song. Those clever comments and mini sermon's still fall short but God's presence never fails. As I find myself remembering today my brother and the grief in losing him I thank God for His presence through it all, for the comfort He provided and continues to provide and for using Amanda to show me a "closer" picture of Himself.