Life is just tough sometimes. It's been crazy hard on my dad's family the past year. Two of my uncles passed away this fall. The latest did so right in the center of a blizzard. Josh and I talk a lot about death and Bill makes fun of us. But losing people who chose to love you and formed who you are sometimes pushes you to remember what's worth fighting for. My uncle Leon was the type of man who inspired me in so many ways. He was faithful. He was joyful. He was hopeful and expectant.
His acceptance embraced you with a smile the moment you met him. There were no games to play in status when he repeatedly offered you his gentle jokes accompanied by a grin.
One summer when my family went to Canada on vacation, I being too little, stayed with my cousins. My dad returned disappointed that I was calling uncle Leon "daddy". He wasn't my dad. Yet he was there when overnight I lost my dad and was no longer a child. And he and his wife were there the night when a few miles from their house my big brother died. I can't imagine that it was easy for him to drive my mom the the hospital.
He told me once about a dream that he had. About Heaven. About the colors that he dreamed that He had never seen before. And the Glory. And there my dad was. That meant a lot to a messed up 17 year old fighting a war she didn't see.
And there Leon is, in the middle of His Glory.
Right in the center of death in the middle of a snowstorm he found eternal life with the King that he loved and who adores him.
Lately I don't know how well that I've been battling. It seems that I've been stuck in a lot of junk and been unprepared and unequipped to face much. But Leon's life reminds me that God's plan of hope is to prosper us and not harm us. His joy is really my platform for battle and strength. Leon's life pushes me to fight for that joy, hopeful and expectant.
What did one eye say to the other eye?
...There is something between us that smells...
Uncle Leon, you will be missed. Can't wait to party with you.