I told a friend of mine I’d write on a different topic today, and well, some things happen and I’ve had to change my mind. My apologies to my friend. It’s my blog though and it’s my choice. Today, I am confronted with the loss of a friend of mine in another state who at the age of 17 died from complications with dealing with a brain tumor.
I am not really an emotional person, but I do have great sorrow in me now, though you might not know that if you saw me here at the moment as I am reserved, but my friend Jonathan was a great guy. No. IS a great guy. As Lewis said when his wife died, “If she is not a person now, she never was a person.”
I never got to meet Jonathan face to face, but yet somehow I was blessed to get to impact him from a distance and he impacted me as well. On the floor here, I have a book that I ordered that he said he had read recently. I never got to tell him that I ordered it simply because he recommended it. I never even got to tell him I ordered it. It’s next on my reading list though and I wonder how hard it will be to read, not because of the content of which I expect no difficulty, but of thinking that with each page this is kind of like the last statement of my friend to me.
Some of you might know about a book called Tuesdays With Morrie. Jonathan’s class at school was reading that and each student was told to track down a “Morrie” to have conversations with on a weekly basis about various topics. Jonathan asked me to do it and I was honored and so began a series of discussions. Each time I would drop all other instant messages I had and any web surfing I was doing at the time and just focus on him. I remember one particularly where he said we would talk about love and on that one word, we had well over an hour of discussion time.
I’m a teacher type and this is something I naturally enjoy. I like the idea of being the professor type and getting to fill a young mind with the wisdom I’ve learned over the years and that’s something that always amazed me about Jonathan. He was always willing to learn and I could tell he had an intense education already at his young age and it made me wish I’d been doing that kind of stuff when I was his age.
Jonathan also had a loving heart and I could care he cared about people. I talked with him often about some of the emotional struggles he was going through. While I am an apologist, we did not just talk about apologists. We would often, as guys do, talk about girls. He would add that he was praying for me and I would pray for him as well. He’d pray that I’d find the wife I’m looking for and I’d pray that he’d find a good girl that would treat him right.
It was those conversations that helped bond things together as Jonathan was like a younger brother type to me. Our interests were different in many areas. He was an Avatar fan and I’m the Smallville geek. We came together though in our love of Christ and our deep interest in apologetics and just being a guy. I always wanted to be the guy that he could talk to at any time about anything that was bothering him.
I believe I am rambling now and it’s quite likely true. When something like this happens, you just have no idea what to say. I think though about eternity awaiting me and how I will get to meet my friend I never saw but always knew. I wonder if when I get there I will somehow know him. Will I be able to say “I never saw your face, but I recognized your heart from a distance?” Will it instead be he’ll say “We never met on Earth, but I’m Jonathan, and it’s good to finally meet you.” I don’t know.
Out of discretion for the family, I’m not putting information up about last name or location. If others want to, that’s fine, but I choose to remain secret here. However, I do plan to get this to them as soon as I can. Jonathan was like a younger brother that I never had and already I miss him and wish I could just have one more Tuesday with him discussing any topic whatsoever.
Farewell Jonathan my friend. May I see you again someday.