Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bye, now

When I was a boy, we were very active in our local church. Our family activity, and my presence in church was not necessarily a great indicator of my personal piety. Often it occurred during Sunday school class that we would be asked to quote, or at least identify our favorite scripture. Mine was invariable stated as john 11:35. All these years later, I can still quote it with confidence: "Jesus wept."

 At some point, the first inklings of maturity began to present themselves. Just prior to leaving on a full-time mission for my church, I decided to find out why it was that Jesus did weep. This takes place during the story of the Savior raising Lazarus from the dead. When Jesus arrived in Bethany to the place where Lazarus had lived, he was greeted by Martha, the sister of Lazarus. Martha told the Savior of her grief and her knowledge that if only Jesus had been there, He could have healed Lazarus and prevented his death. As The Lord comforted her, Martha sent for her sister Mary. When Mary arrived, she shared with The Lord the same feelings and thoughts as had Martha. They were joined by other of the Jews who likewise grieved and mourned over the loss of this most beloved man. Christ wept with and for the family and friends of Lazarus. He knew that he would soon raise Lazarus from the dead, yet he wept with them as he felt compassion for them and as He considered his love for Lazarus. Likewise , we weep today.

My heart is filled with love and compassion for the family of this man that I love. I weep with them because I love them and empathize with their broken hearts. Additionally, I weep for personal reasons. I will miss Dave and express my own loss thusly.

 I think I have known Dave smith for around 30 years. We began to become good friends maybe 15 years ago when I volunteered to got to scout camp with him. Over the years, I have spent a lot of time with Dave camping and hiking in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Arkansas. If you've ever spent a lot of time on the road with Dave, you find that you don't just sit there quietly. Dave likes to talk. About a variety of things, but mostly about trucks. And trucking. And trucking songs. I had no idea there was so much that I needed to know about how a guy strapped down his load, or which trucks were best for pulling which trailers and products. I didn't even know why towns forbade jake brakes until Dave told me. Truthfully, I didn't even know what a jake brake was until I sheepishly asked Dave.