gentry13

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2005 at 12:08 pm

the way up is down

the moment i heard of his grandfather’s death, i knew i needed to attend. so after speaking with crummy, i called a couple of friends and we decided to trip together. we planned to leave at 2 a.m. on tuesday morning and arrive home sometime before wednesday. i knew that a day trip of a thousand miles would shred me for the rest of the week, since i am much closer to thirty than i am to spring break at daytona beach, but suspected that the trip would be worth it. i was right.

i am honored to call crummy my friend. after scoring in the 99th percentile on the LSATs and matriculating at george washington, josh decided to go to seminary. at the seminary he struggled through the doubt, cynicism and damn-near despair that few students escape, but he kept at his studies and graduated within three and a half years. after completing seminary, josh had a decision to make. he could begin candidating (seminary-ese for applying) for pulpits or he could go home to carlisle, pennsylvania and provide home care for his grandfather, who was slowly dying of a brain tumor. josh made the right decision.

for the last six months josh has lived in his grandfather’s home, overseen his grandfather’s affairs and served his grandfather in every which way (up to and including changing his adult diapers). he also took an overnight inventory clerk at target so that he could start paying off his student loans. josh sacrificed the opportunity to work his way into a wealthy firm in order to serve God and His people. he then chose to sacrifice the christian ladder of success in order to serve his dying grandfather. his reward? serving his grandfather during his dying days and letting his grandfather die in loving, familiar arms. josh said he wouldn’t exchange the last six months for anything. i am inclined to believe him.

i was so proud to sit in an aluminum sided assembly of God just of I-83 in carlisle, pennsylvania and hear my friend eulogize his grandfather. my intent was to honor my friend for eschewing the good in order to do the best. the tears in his eyes and the strength of his embrace suggested that my intent was correctly interpreted.

there are some people of whom you can truly say, “with friends like those, who needs enemies.” i know such people, because i was once one of them. but in the years since i chose to stumble towards Christ and try to serve His church, i have been surrounded by friends who enable me to love and serve not only those who love me, but also my enemies. i am surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. for this i am so grateful.

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