Rev Fave

The Moment When Everything Changed

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I have never seen him like this. Since the 5th grade, he has always been the epitome of cool. He has never raised his voice, behaved erratically or emotionally. Through decades of euphoric highs and dungeon level lows, he has maintained a neutrality in his demeanor that always reflected peace, but not excitement. We’ve laughed, joked and encouraged each other over the years as we navigated through middle school, high school, college, career changes, marriage, fatherhood, divorce and re-invention. Like most guys, we didn’t talk about our emotions, but our connection remained strong. He is not just my best friend, he is my brother.

And everything about him changed the moment he met her.

His modest, reserved personality began sprouting sudden outbursts of joy on Facebook. He started posting date night photos and making frequent trips to where she lived. Our conversations on the phone went from sports and music to relationship lessons and thoughts of the future. He wasn’t just in love, he had made a decision to love. This would be the first of many decisions that would impact their lives forever.

He proposed. She accepted. Planning began. He began expressing his emotions more as we grew closer to the big day. They picked colors together, decided on wedding favors and asked me to lead their ceremony. Despite my substantial counseling and prayer, nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed on their wedding day.

My best friend was beaming with joy unlike anything I’d ever seen. It was so vibrant that it made him look younger. He smiled incessantly. There was a diamond-like sparkle in his eyes. No cold feet; just high anticipation. He cried tears of joy – several times. Their vows were endearing. His confidence in his decision to love his bride until death was undeniable. The way he held her during their first dance, it was clear that he was never letting her go.

In 30+ years, I have never seen my best friend smile beyond his classic “smirk.” I have never seen him cry one tear; let alone a steady stream down his face. We’ve been at school dances and formal events; but I’d never seen my brother slow dance. I have never seen him so submerged in joy and happiness – and it looked good on him. Challenges and triumphs are on the horizon for these newlyweds, but I believe God will keep them through it all.

I realize that God is the originator of all the joy I witnessed. Everything about me changed the moment I accepted Him into my life. This milestone in my brother’s life was a strong reminder that I need to reflect the joy and happiness God continues to give me with life, health, strength and opportunities to help others. My smiling is a rarity and I’m working hard to increase my frequency.

I don’t want someone to be in search of God and cannot get a glimpse of Him in me.

Close Your Eyes And Focus

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I didn’t plan on being there. It was a random pit stop while waiting for a friend, mixed with a sudden hunger for egg drop soup. He was there when I walked in – a skinny, dark-skinned guy in his late-30s wearing a tattered black T-shirt and jeans. He hovered in my peripheral view as I ordered my food and sat down to play a few rounds of Words With Friends. Read More

Lack of Prayer Changes

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Sinners say goodbye. Saints will see you later. The finality of mortal death forces you to bid farewell. The reality of imperative departures forces you to walk away from the smell of a decaying connection that no longer benefits your life; an extraordinary human experiences enhanced by the Holy Spirit, underwritten by Jesus and secured by an Almighty God.

I’ve watched nostalgia smudge the lenses by which I view familiar mediocrity. The moist haze almost skewed my vision towards the benefit of the doubt. My retro eyes tried to convince my spirit that things have changed. People have changed. Prayer has changed them. Prayer has changed me. Because that’s what prayer is supposed to do, right?

Right?

I don’t believe prayer changes things. I believe the phrase, “prayer changes people” is not entirely accurate. Prayer has a tendency to amplify the original factory settings of the spirit God created. Lack of prayer (aka lack of communication with God) is what truly changes us for the worse as our connection erodes our character, dramatize our circumstances and distorts our inner-voice that should be encouraging instead of churning thoughts of discourse from overly critical to suicidal.

I pray for God to navigate my life with the authenticity of His purpose. That’s not a change, that’s acknowledging who He destined me to be. Prayer didn’t change me, I changed me. Sin changed me. Fear changed me. Indecision changed me. Pain changed me. Betrayal changed me. My bad choices changed me. Lust changed me. Distance from God changed me.

My lack of prayer is what changed me.

Prayer is what continues to keep me closest to how God made me. Prayer exposes me to an inkling of His thoughts and reveals more of who I truly am. No one can tell me who I am. Nostalgia can’t define me. My external perception can’t define me. My insecurities, concerns and false humility cannot paint a better picture than the one by My Divine Artist.

So I pray that the strokes of life’s hues, slathered by the brush of my God’s intentions will make me a masterpiece in a world decorated by hotel landscape paintings and dirty drapes.