9.36 on Tuesday morning. I had 4 hours of poor sleep last night. 3 hours of poorer sleep the night before. That is excuse enough for being tired & emotional, but the greater problem is that I haven’t slept in 2 weeks & have had a headache for nearly that long.
I woke up on the morning of Sunday the 31st to an inbox full of messages that my friend Miah Morris was in critical condition after suffering a heat stroke while running an intense obstacle course/marathon. That night started the sleeplessness.
I called, sent messages, raised prayer, fasted, did my best to stay up to date on the details, prayed for a speedy recovery, & never considered it truly possible that he would die. Monday evening brought the “come now” phone call. I rushed home to take care of things in the office to prepare for my being gone for some days, slept for 40 minutes and drove to the airport with little more than a backpack & not even sure what I’d thrown in it.
Walking onto my first flight the messages began to come in that after 2.5 days of intense fighting for his life, my friend had slipped into eternity. That first flight was when the headache started. But I sat down in faith, flew home in faith, met with family & friends in faith continuing to believe that he could be raised. Because one of these days, one of us is going to be filled with power from on high, & one of these days we’re going to see the dead raised. I earnestly asked that it would be my friend & I couldn’t think of life without Miah.
Most of the time we do not stop to think of how someone is affecting our day-to-day life until they are suddenly taken from it. But Miah was one of those friends that left you always aware of just how much he affected your life. You couldn’t hep but be dramatically affected by him, because he is crazy! He loved to get you outside of your box, to do something bizarre & before you could blink you were caught up in the madness, a part of the craziness with him. He made you look at life differently, he made you live it.
Now I’m not talking wisdom, because most of the time whatever he was doing meant you were going to get into trouble if you were anywhere near him. But you couldn’t help but love him for it. Miah looked life in the face & laughed at it. He did everything “x7”, as his best friend Jason puts it.
He made me be his friend. Just went after me until I trusted him & let him be a brother to me, & then spent the next 5 years being one of the most dependable & intentional friends that I’ve ever had.
That week brought many things too personal to share, moments with the Lord that need to stay sacred. But I’ll say that it wasn’t until the middle of the memorial service that I realized he wasn’t coming back. He was with the Lord and he WANTED to stay there. Never have I cried so hard at a memorial service, never have I laughed so hard at one either. And NEVER before had I sung ‘Happy Birthday at a funeral (it was held on his 29th birthday). Totally – Weird.We spent the next few hours laughing ourselves into side-aches & tears as the ridiculous stories just came one after another. Anyone who didn’t know him well would think that their one crazy Miah story an isolated incident, and have no clue that he just LIVED crazy! Jason said it really well,
They say that when someone dies they take a piece of you with them & you’re left feeling like something is missing, but I feel like he’s with us. With Miah, it’s like he always left a piece of himself with you instead of the other way around. But man I’m gonna miss him, like on those day’s when I just need to go do something crazy, that’s when I’m really gonna miss him.
Three days later I boarded another plane & headed East with many tears, feeling as if the whole week had been one terrible dream. The fact is, as Christians, believer’s in Jesus Christ, it is REAL that we do not grieve as those who have no hope. My friend is living life way more than just “x7″ RIGHT NOW, fully alive, fully at peace, fully in the presence of the living God. Christ will come & all of the dead in Christ will rise, & we will be reunited with our loved ones who have gone before us who have loved Him.
But the fact is that I can’t imagine the next 70+ years of my life, should the Lord tarry and should I live that long, without the presence of that friend in my life, without his voice, his laugh being a part of who I am. He has a facebook page, & daily people leave him messages as though he can read them & might even respond. His phone service is still on. I admit I’ve called many times just to hear his voice on the message, trying to etch it in my brain so to not forget. But he won’t respond to those facebook messages, & someday soon I’m going to call that number and his voice won’t be there anymore.
At the end of the service Jason hugged me and reminded me that Miah really loved me, then another of his good friend’s Ben did the same saying ” I don’t know if he ever really told you all that your friendship meant to him….” but he did. I always knew he was truly my brother and loved me. He lived well & he loved well. And though he is alive, though I will see him again & then be with him forever, for now I grieve. For now, I miss Miah and all that he has meant in my life, & the thought that real time will pass before I can enjoy his friendship again hurts.
The vapor of this life, the pain of being in the dream is still very real, even for the believer. And until Christ returns it has to, because things are NOT ok. Because the pain is the constant throbbing reminder that we will NOT be ok until He comes and makes it all right again.
*Sigh* And here’s the problem with a Thought Dump – there is no end. No way to wrap up, no conclusion. The conclusion to this one is…..waiting. Praying. Living for the day when we see the return of our Saviour, fixing our eyes on things above, holding onto His divine love and not letting go,and aching until that day when the mist clears, when the vapor fades forever. Until then, tell my friend that we miss him. Oh that You would come quickly Lord.