Do you ever have one of those days you really wish could have gone differently? I can name plenty of blessings throughout the day, but still, the day overall is not going on my top five list. Here's why -
1. My friend, Bruce Bahr, passed away this morning. He had leukemia, and had undergone a stem cell transplant. Unfortunately, the stem cells attacked his body instead of rebuilding his body, and he lost his battle with this nasty disease.
2. My son played two soccer games in his final tournament for the year, and his team lost both matches.
I know #2 on my bad list does not compare to #1 on my bad list, but the whole day just frankly did not go the way I would have preferred. But, here's what I'm taking away from the day.
1. My friend's death has opened the door for my children to ask about death and about heaven and about what happens to our bodies when we die. Michael and I have explained that God gives us more than a body - he gives us a soul that is filled with His Spirit, and that is the part of us that goes to heaven. It's a hard conversation to have and a hard concept to explain, but death is not all bad. Don't misunderstand me, I still find death tragic. For any life cut short. For those left behind grieving. But, sometimes for the dying, it can be good. Hard for the living, maybe, but still good for the one reunited with our Father.
2. My son's character today shone through. And I am way more concerned about the state of his character than I am about whether or not he wins his soccer games. The first team just walked all over our boys. Our boys gave up after the other team scored one goal. Just plain gave up. So Coach gave them a talk. It wasn't what they wanted to hear. It wasn't about what a great job they'd done. It was about how they had given up. And the other team hadn't. The next game, again, the other team won. But this time around they tried, and they played the game all the way to the end. It was an even match. In fact, they had played and beaten this team before. But today, what set our team apart was that they were the guys that were not the bullies. And yet, when they were getting tripped and elbowed in the ribs and shoved over and held back by their jerseys and no whistle was blown except when they made a mistake, they still did not back down. They didn't play dirty and they didn't cheat, but they didn't take it either. My 56 pound son outran and pushed back against 90 pound meanies today. And he came away standing. And I will take today's loss in score for their win in character any day of the week.
Truth. I'm tired, and it is late. I miss Bruce. I feel disappointment for my son. I should say more eloquent words, but my head isn't here. So please just pray - for Bruce's family and friends and for all those grieving loved ones.
Good night, and I'll see you on Day 35.