This is the Day…Wednesday
March 25, 2020
One of my best friends in junior high school was Eddie Russell. Eddie was a good old country boy. If Eddie was your friend, you knew you could always count on him to be there for you. If Eddie was your enemy, you knew he could also be very unkind at times.
But despite Eddie’s volatile temperament, we were good friends. I used to call him “Special Ed” because Eddie was the class clown. Sometimes his sense of humor crossed the line and was a bit troubling. But Eddie always had a story to share about any topic someone could bring up. And usually his stories were about his family.
When we were in the ninth grade, I went over to Eddie’s house after school. Typically, when I went over, Eddie and I were there alone. But on this day, when we walked into his house, his Mom and Dad were there. And they were arguing, loudly! Now, there were times when my parents disagreed. But I had never heard anything like this before. Eddie’s parents shouted hateful statements to each other, back and forth. And then I heard Eddie’s Dad hit his Mom.
Eddie sprang into action. He ran into the room, yelled at his Father to stop and then ran outside. When I went outside to find Eddie, I saw him walking up the road. I asked him where he was going, but he didn’t respond. He just kept walking. So, I walked with him. We just walked. In silence.
We walked out of his neighborhood. All the way through town. And began walking North on Hwy 321. We walked in total silence for over an hour. I didn’t know what to say. I was sure anything I said would just make matters worse. So, we walked. Eddie walked away. And I walked with Eddie.
As it began to get late and the sun was going down, Eddie finally stopped in his tracks. He looked up at me and said, “What are you doing, Howe?” He always called me by my last name. “Why are you walking with me?” All I could say was, “You are my friend. I’m not going to let you walk away alone.”
Not long after that, Eddie’s Mom pulled up. It was an amazing reunion as Eddie’s Mom hugged him and told him, “You can’t walk away. I will always find you!”
The events of that day changed my perspective in so many ways. Who of us is not guilty of walking away at times? We walk away in anger. We walk away in fear. We walk away seeking something better that the world offers us. We walk away from each other. We walk away from God.
God, how could you allow this to happen to me? God, why did you let him die? God, why can’t I hear you? God, where are you? Sound familiar?
Eddie’s Mom taught me a Biblical truth that I always try to remember. You can’t walk beyond God’s grace! Often our faith is tested by the circumstances of life. And sometimes we make poor decisions out of fear or anger. But God always tells us, “You can’t walk away. I will always find you!”
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20
Father, thank you for always finding me, no matter how far I walk away. Thank you for the ways your amazing grace reaches me, even in the deepest valleys. Thank you that you are always willing to run to me, pick me up and welcome me home. Amen.