I sometimes search for names of old acquaintances on the Internet, just to see what may pop up.
Last night, I had thought of an old co-worker and his very unique humor. He always wore these ridiculous green pants to work. We were in our teens and working the restaurant in the 90’s. I found that he went on to earn his PhD, while I earned myself the life of drug abuse and hard roads.
I began to think about the woman who’d also worked with us. She tended the bar. She had the nice smile and the right words for everyone. For a good while, I ran with her and her family. We did all of the drugs we could find while having so many, “good times.” As I began to surf in my interest last night, I decided to look her name up. I had a feeling that her loose behavior would surely result in some sort of findings linked to crime, or perhaps an obituary. I recall looking up a few names in the past–one of which was my buddy, her nephew, who passed away years ago–and seeing her name in the lists of family members survived. To my surprise in my search, I found that she had recently died.
There was a picture in the online obituary of her face just as I remember it. She always had the sad, empty blue eyes, with a big smile to draw your attention. She always wore black. She was an overall, kind woman. In my youth, I was very attracted to her kindness, as well as her generosity. Unfortunately, she was one of the worst influences in my teen years. I learned about life in all of the wrong ways and became very attached to the harms that we both indulged in.
As I sat last night and looked at the picture, all of these old memories of running around with her–a woman twice my age and her matured bad habits–came back to me. It was a time that I won’t forget, but yet want to. Some of the worst scenarios of my life are intertwined with that lady and her family. Aside from all of the drama of the past, I sat and thought deeply about where she may be now.
The eyes of that woman were just like the eyes of her family: empty and full of shame. You see, I knew things about the majority of the family that I had no clue about when I first began my journey with them. I found out throughout the years that nearly all of them were sexually abused by their father/grandfather. The details aren’t relevant, but I will tell you that they are sickening. I looked into those same sad eyes last night in the photo and thought about the judgment of God upon her as she moved on from this earthly world. I know why she did what she did to hurt herself, and just how hurt she really was inside. As I go through life in my walk with God, I sometimes have questions about it all; all that men desperately try to define and fail to. Although, people sure are sure of themselves when it comes to their God. I had questions last night as I thought about the life she lived, and just where her broken heart was.
I wonder if our Creator really is such a damning God, as the Bible has me believe? I wonder if the Lord loves you so much to send His only begotten Son to die for your sins, but looks at your sin in the end and decides if you are worth saving or not? Even if God knew a life before one free-willingly chooses to sin, does he just decide to not care for you, knowing your whole life was consumed by an unyielding sadness? A sadness, just like the kind that was still there in those eyes that I saw again last night?
I don’t know?
If Heaven exists, and is a peaceful place, I sure hope her smile is there making peace, and her eyes are seeing it.