Last week I attended the funeral of a young man in his 20’s. He began having seizures at age 3. During the couple of decades he lived here on this earth, he bounced back and forth between taking seizure medication—which wrecks your body and mind—and not taking the medication and dealing with the fallout. And the fallout resulted in massive, debilitating seizures. His episodes were so bad that they ripped the corneas apart in his eyes.
Yet he lived on. Every day he lived as though his life was worth living. His funeral saw him surrounded by his friends. That bond formed stronger than most of us could ever understand.
They told the story of his oldest friend: After a seizure on the playground in first grade, this soon to be best friend told anyone who laughed that he was going to kick their ass. THAT is what true manhood is. On full display in a first grader.
Protect the weak. Stop the bully.
No one told him to do it. Something INSIDE him bristled at this demeaning laughter. The other friends all had similar stories. The same bond forged through love and protection in another’s weakness.
I watched as his parents gave a 15 minute view into their lives of dealing with these seizures. The good times. The horrible times. My heart was torn apart as they spoke. He died at their house. As easy as it would be to blame God, as hard as it was to see through the pain, they talked about how they were blessed.
Blessed that he was an incredible kid. An incredible human being. A man of his word. Blessed because they, and his sister, were with him the night before. One big happy family. They are thankful for that last night. They are thankful that he will never have another seizure. They are thankful that he gave his life to Christ.
Because they will be reunited with him. For eternity.
I know this hope. I hope to see my mother there one day. To see her beautiful and complete. Not broken like she was here. I might even be the first to weep in heaven to see such a beautiful sight.
Until then, we live. We keep moving toward Christ. It’s the only place that makes sense. The only place where comfort emerges from grief. Where hope comes from brokenness. Where faith cometh from hearing. Believing in things unseen.
My heart still rips apart when I think of his life and what his family is feeling right now. But, I can close my eyes, lean back, rest in the Holy Spirit….and let Jesus put my heart back together again.