I went to see Brian one last time last week. I was not ready to say
goodbye to him...but God sets those
dates and has no obligation to check
with any of us. Many times He told us how unexpected the time would
be upon us. Still we wait and delay. I pondered His Word on the subject long since Tilena and I returned from the trip. The afternoon following our ride home, I was wandering around about the place as the remains of the day drifted away. Any number of thoughts crossed my mind when I thought to pick up the camera and see what God showed me. In the first shot there on the left, my focus was drawn to the basketball sitting in the back of the photo forgotten where it was long ago tossed across the fence and left for me to mow around. It has been months now since I've heard the old familiar and comforting thump thump thump of the ball on the driveway. Nick's attention is being drawn to other matters these days. He grows from boy to man and the familiar fades. It's tough to keep up with things. Ryan has long since given up those ways so comforting to a Dad.
The next shot is Pepper....what was on his mind is uncomprehendable. But I think he was hoping I would try to take that bone from him and chase him about the yard. Play is still at the top of his "to do" list. He has no concerns of the future, but it will change him too...just as it has Bowden, Christy, Ryan and Nick.
The third click I took that day is an old Blue Fisherman. There is no play in his day. He has fished the canal since sun up and will stand in concentration until a soundless call draws him back to his nightly sanctuary in the Everglades. For him it's a matter of survival, not choice. That design has been successful for eons. Just like the Heron, we will all have a soundless and unexpected call....it will be time to go.
All of the photos spoke to me of God's timetable. Independent of our wants or imagined needs...just according to his plan. We must be prepared. That was the message God sent through Brian....."Enjoy it all, love the gifts of God's Hand...glory in it, wonder in it...breathe in, breathe out, move on....but prepare your soul." Brian was a deep thinker, but I don't think I ever really knew all that was on his mind. I don't think anyone did actually. He did look below the surface of things...that was evident. It came out in any discussion with him and more so in his art. His drawings seem to breathe on their own.
I know this....He was loved. His parents are crushed, but can never fault their effort. They loved Brian as God loved us all... It was just time. Twenty-eight years, eleven months and twenty days...who knew that was God's time? The silent call came. What does God's calendar have for you?
I don't know if Brian was prepared...I can't imagine such a deep thinker not being. It's impossible to ponder God's creation as closely as Brian did and not KNOW. I hope he was. I hope to see him again. But to make any guess would be to judge. That, my friends, is God's obligation alone.
My nephew, I'll miss him.