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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Monday, January 25, 2016

When you know the name in the news story

Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.

Today we learned of the death of a former longtime co-worker.  To say that the circumstances were suspicious would be fair.  To say that, to one extent or another, it was self-inflicted would probably not miss the mark very far.

But I am not going into the details, especially when the details aren't a lot more than the local news-sites.  But it did open my eyes to that first statement in a way I hadn't looked at it before.

You see, this man was a study in contrasts.  What we knew about him at work, what his family knew about him at home, what others knew of him from the streets, didn't always seem to paint the same picture.  Would it for you?  The differences were accentuated, in my opinion by the one trait I think we would have all agreed on- he was passionate.  And that passion was part of everything he did.  It was how he dealt his life.

And sometimes, passions can weaken us.  He had his daemons, and in the end it would seem his daemons got him.  But I learned one very difficult lesson in coming to terms with the life- not the loss, but the life- of my own father.  And that is, in looking back, don't look at the daemons.  Look at the good man fighting them.

And make no mistake, beneath the daemons, he was a good man.  He loved his kids- oh, how so- that was part of the passion.  He was a loyal friend, glad to lend a hand, or crack a smile.  The little things that got him down, never had him down for long.

The daemons, on the other hand... well, it seems he never shook them.  In my last Sunday message, I quoted the verse where David said that those who persecuted him were stronger than himself.  And all of us who have daemons, we KNOW that to be true.  Because they come to us when the world has spent its day shitting on us, and we try to find a place to escape, and there they are.  Helping us to close it all off, to just not deal with it for a while.  Thing is, when the "buzz" is gone, the problem remains, and the daemon no longer has to work so hard to get you- because he's got you.  And all of the sudden you're looking over that abyss, and the only "friend" you see is the one who has already got what it wanted, and isn't all that inclined to be of help.  And the only time it's ever like it was the first time, is when you commit yourself to leaving it behind for good.

I was fortunate in that Jesus became part of me.  Doesn't make me perfect, or even better- but I know if I slip, I have someone still holding me up.  And for all the good that was in him, it would seem our friend just didn't have that.  Eventually he fell and there was no one to stop the fall.

There will be people who will see the story, see the name, and say, "Good riddance to another crazy Mexican" (not trying to be racist here, but to make a point- he was Puerto Rican, born in Philadelphia.)  They'll see the story- as I did at first, and make fun of another idiot dying in his foolish misadventures.  And if all we ever know is the surface, that'll be good enough, and it might give us cold comfort that "At least I never got that bad."  But if you knew the person, you might stop and think about how thin the line is that you are dancing on... and hope you have that One who is greater to catch you if YOU fall.

God rest you, mi amigo.  God willing, we'll see you again.


  1. I'm sorry to learn that you are dealing with the loss of another person who was close to you, Chris. I don't know the circumstances surrounding his death and don't need to know. All I know is that I engaged in high risk behavior for decades and shudder to think of all the close calls.

    Take care, good buddy!

    1. As do I- and I took (prolly) a lot less risks. It only takes one to mess things up for people around you that you might not even know.

  2. Chris:
    From Philly, you say?
    Well, there's another commonality between us again.
    I feel for your loss, as I've also lost friends, comrades, and co-workers under less than desirable conditions.
    (is there EVER a desirable one?)

    But as with everyone, there are what I call THREE LIVES:
    -Your public life
    -Your private life
    -Your secret life
    There are always daemons lurking in those darkest of shadows...waiting for just the right time (the right time for THEM, not for us).
    Fortunately, LIGHT casts out darkness, thereby exposing those daemons for what they truly are.
    All that is required of us is to look into and become part OF that light.

    And yes, there is a razor's edge of difference between what side of the fence you choose to dance upon.

    We can but hope your co-worker found that light in the time he had left to him.
    If there is any REAL shame to be assessed, it's to the one person who left the scene after the accident.
    NO ONE should ever have to pass from this world alone (in such a manner).
    The person that ran has to live with THAT guilt upon their shoulders.

    Stay strong & safe up there, brother.

    1. I have my suspicions about the driver's ID... but it's neither here nor there. And you're right, he'll be dealing with a LOT of regrets over this.

  3. Tough lessons, Chris. I could only (or mostly) see the demons in my dad. Now that he's gone, I see a lot of goodness that I didn't fully appreciate. It's a sad thing.

    So sorry for your loss.
    You are loved.

    1. When you get to be the Daemon's target, it is hard to see the person inside that loves you. I know you have a lot of experience with that in your family. Thank you for your support and love.

      And wasn't the heel chocolate?

  4. My father used to say that we all have multiple personalities. It's only a disorder when they are completely separate from one another (and don't know the others). The truth is we are all different people with different people.

    It's taken me many years to truly understand where Jesus fits in my life. I thought I knew Him as a kid, but I only knew Him as a kid, which turned out to not be all that well. I spent most of my life trying to get along knowing He was out there somewhere, but I didn't see how making Him a part of my life would make things better. It's only been in the last few years that I've had that true come to Jesus moment where I saw it clearly. He died for a personal relationship with each one of us. He never wanted to be "out there" separate from us. I think understanding that changes everything. We do everything differently after that.

    1. In a way, I was like you in finding Jesus. That He was, there was never any doubt. WHO He was, that was the question, and for a lot of people, you need to gain that personal relationship before He makes any sense at all.

      And your father is right in my case anyway. Those personalities have gained a lot of cohesive whole-ness over the years, but that's because I really never had the need to separate them- as our friend must have.

  5. Even with Him holding you up, the demons can be nigh impossible to escape. I spent a good chunk of the last 18 months begging God to kill me, and begging forgiveness for planning to do it myself. It is an exhausting battle.

    I'm sorry for your loss. I pray he found peace in the end.

    1. And I hope you make your peace too. I was wondering if our friend's action was the "better part" of taking other lives in a custody fight. Maybe he was on that edge of "kill myself/kill her", and just couldn't get back from it far enough. Speculation, but possible.

      The daemons have to be a lot harder to fight when your own body, your own metabolism, is geared to fight against you as well. I don't question His wisdom; but sometimes I wonder why He had to let it get so hard for some.

  6. Yeah it can be a bit of a shock when we hear on the news that someone we knew has died, I believe there are many parts of a person that are keep secret and other parts that only selected perople are allowed to see

    1. I think though, there is a core that everyone gets a glimpse of... and his core was pretty good.

  7. That truly was beautifully written.

    1. Much easier at the beginning than the end.

  8. I am sorry for your loss, but like you said, we have the One who can pick us up during these trials ::hugs::

    1. Thanks, my dear. I appreciate your verses on FB for that very reason.