I am writing this today to be honest with you. I hope you know you are near and dear to my heart now but when I first met you I didn’t like you. When I first saw you I didn’t like the way you looked. I turned away from you and didn’t give you a chance. The second time I saw you you were with a group of people I knew so I came over to talk to everyone. I didn’t like the sound of your voice or how you laughed- at everything. The third time I saw you were just sitting there staring out into space. I was like what’s up with this guy but for some reason I was compelled to sit beside you. We didn’t even say a word. Funny when you look back on it since I can’t stop talking to you now. The fourth time I saw you I actually introduced myself. I remember it felt kind of awkward since we have been together before but I didn’t even know your name yet. I don’t know why but it came as a surpise to me that my favorite NFL team was also yours. Not many Dallas Cowboy fans in Ohio. I almost quit talking to you when you told me you were from Michigan and liked that team up north.
I remember I didn’t see you for a few months after that. I asked around but it seemed like no one knew where you went. You just disappeared. When you came back you weren’t the same. I could tell something was going on but I am not one to pry. As you know I am an introvert and I don’t reach out easily. We didn’t really have any conversations for awhile. Just the occasional hi, how are you, see ya later, keep in touch. Every time I thought to get more involved and invest some time in you, fear kept me from opening up. I could see you were hurting but I didn’t know what to say. I am so sorry I let you go through that alone.
I then met a girl and she was a Christian. I didn’t know much about God or praying and the have not but she invited me to go to her church. I was reluctant at first but I really liked her. I finally gave in and went. That first time was a little awkward but I could feel something. It was like someone was pulling me. The second time I went I opened the Bible and the page it opened to was in the book of Job.
It was like God was talking to me about you. Then I flipped through the pages and stopped. It stopped on Ecclesiastes 4.
Even a doubter like me was starting to think something was going on here. I said ok God, third time is a charm. I shut the Bible then opened it up and you would not believe where I opened it up to. 1 John 3:17.
Just for kicks I said one more time and I opened the Bible to 1 Thessalonians
God was giving me a message.
I asked this girl about prayer. She told me she prays all the time. Prays for me, her family, strangers, friends, her dog, her old rickety car to last one more day, etc.. I was thinking if she can pray for all those things all the time it can’t be that hard. My first prayer was “Dear God” and that was it. I couldn’t think of anything else to say. What kind of person am I? She told me not to give up, God knows what I need before I do. He knows what I will say before I do. I laughed, so what’s the point of asking for something He already knows I need. I think I offended her but she was patient with me. I was really falling in love with her. I kept trying and I got past the “Dear God” part and I prayed for you. I prayed that whatever you are going through that you will be okay. I asked her if it was selfish to pray for myself and she smiled and said heck no, I pray for myself all the time. I then prayed for me. I prayed that God would give me the courage and the words to say to you to help you.
As you know it’s been ten years since I reached out to you. You know I married that girl and that we have four girls now. I am so sorry I waited so long to talk to you. I know I wasted a lot of time that I can never get back. I know that I missed hours and days of laughter and tears with you, even though I still didn’t like the way you laughed. I know you are a loving, special, awesome person who changed me for the better. You made me a better person. You taught me a lot about God, hope, faith, family. You are like a brother to me.
I miss you. I can’t believe I let you go through that alone. All because I was afraid. I can’t believe today is the 9th anniversary of your death. I can’t believe you have been with God for 9 years now. I can’t believe I only had one year to truly get to know you. Even when you were at your weakest you were the strongest person I have ever met. Thank you for being my friend.
Hard to believe I didn’t like you at first.
P.S. Until I see you again I will talk to you all the time. Don’t laugh. You know I don’t like your laugh. Okay, your laugh isn’t all that bad. Thinking of you all the time my dear friend. I love you.
I don’t know where this letter came from. My original intent was to write about songs I didn’t like at first. Then I started to type and God put the words in my head. I don’t even know what songs to put on here now. I do have lyrics to a song I am trying to get out there on this topic.
I’ve decided no music today. You’ve had a lot over last few days anyway. Today we will just reflect. How many times have you not liked someone because of the way they looked, the clothes they wore, the food they ate, the color of their skin, their disability, the way they talked or laughed? How many times have you not liked someone because they weren’t like you? The list to not like someone is long but the list to like someone is short.
Jesus hung out with tax collectors, lepers, adulterers, women, sinners – just like you and me. What if Jesus said I can’t be your friend because….?