One of my dearest friends, who I haven’t seen in over a year, came to visit me this weekend. I always smile when he comes to mind, with his sarcastic charm, genuine criticism of humanity and society in general, as well as his mind-blowing intelligence and witticisms, it’s common for me to laugh whenever he comes to mind. Or, fall into a deep state of thought, depending on which memory takes my attention. But I always had this idea of him that he was beyond me. His existence as a human being was always so separate, his thoughts so unpredictable, that I never really felt like I could really relate to him. That never hindered me from loving him as I do. But today, he told me his thoughts, and my heart swelled with emotion for him. Mostly because I knew I couldn’t do, or say, anything to make it better.
I had just finished talking to him about my own problems – which seem extremely minute and materialistic when compared to his – and so I felt even more inept and incapable of doing anything right by him. The thing is, he left the country because he saw nothing for himself here; so he went to go find it. I was so proud of him – I’m still very proud of him. It’s no small thing to leave everything you know to find a better life. It’s quite a gamble, one that threatens a lesser fate and a lifetime of regrets. And so for the past two years, he has been working as a Starbucks barista to save up money to live comfortably and hopefully attend school next fall. But today, he admitted to me about how empty his life seems. How it feels like all that’s left is death, death and the answer to the greatest question in life: is there anything afterward. Is there a God. Is there purpose. He sees himself where he is and his friends where they are, including me, and he wonders what happened. Whether there is truly a purpose for living. Unfortunately those are questions that can only be answered after death, and I listened in horror as he joked about committing suicide in a more “sophisticated” manner than just a bullet through the head.
He then admitted that he was jealous of my faith, of my ability to believe in what I cannot see. He wishes he could do that, but he cannot push himself to believe in what cannot be proved. Oh my heart ached when he told me that. I wished to take his hands in mine and look him in the eye and tell him everything I knew to be true. To convince him that God loves him and the beauty is that it is inexplicable, and unable to be contained. That Jesus promised that if you ask you shall receive, that if you seek you shall find, that if you knock the door will be opened to you. I wanted to encourage him to keep searching, to keep asking, but most importantly to keep living. But my mouth was sealed. I hadn’t the words to say what my heart was feeling.
I cried. I cried for him; I was so saddened by how empty he felt his life was when I saw so much beauty in it and in who he is. I cried for me; I was so mad at myself that I hadn’t the words to say, that I was so far from God that I had nothing to share with him, and because of that I can’t help my dear, dear friend, my darling brother, to see God.
It gave me pause, when he told me he was jealous of my faith. That something I hold for granted could ever be coveted made me look at it in a different way. Just what was faith in God, besides assurance of a better life now and eternity with God later? There is so much more that Jesus has saved me from than I’ll ever know. I know he didn’t even tell me the half of it, but even this much has convicted me. Convicted me to pray for him, to fast for him, and to cry out to God for His mercy, to save His son, my dearest friend.