August 2, 2014
ATC all over again…
Address the Condition began a little more then 2 ½ years ago.
I was at my friend’s funeral, Silort Corioland. He died from a horrible, terrible life decapitating disease. Silort died of cancer. When I went to go visit him on the day before Thanksgiving; his usually large and bright eyed self that was only outshone by his smile was replaced with a skeleton like gaunt figure with machines breathing for him.
He lay there in the quaint room alone in the bed. He was on so many pain medications that he was not aware of his surroundings. I stood there not recognizing the shriveled up being on the bed. Hospice was supposed to allow people to die in dignity and in peace.
He barely weighed 75 pounds. Thursday morning as my family bustled around getting the house ready for the day’s festivities, my mom received a phone call. It was from Mrs. Corioland. Silort had died. He was 26.
I was 27, then. I’m sure that there was plenty to celebrate that Thanksgiving. I had health, my brothers were healthy, my parents were healthy and we were all together. Although we said the generic thank you’s and what we were thankful for, I felt far from thankful, I felt cheated. Cheated by God. I was sure He could have done something that would blow everyone away. After all He was God.
We had been praying for a miracle. Wouldn’t that had been perfect? A Thanksgiving Miracle? To hear his laugh once more, or hear his corny jokes, to see the twinkle in his eye? Instead the following evening I heard the cries of his mother, the tearing of her heart, and the sorrow in her eyes.
I went to pay my respects, it what you do when people die right? Of course the sun arose the next day and the moon shone bright the next night. Time did not stand still to pay it’s respect to a being that in just 2 decades, had started his own entertainment company, been an inspiration to hundreds of people and had his whole life to live for.
In a standing room only venue, I stood in the church where his memorial service was being held. I had dark shades and my mood to match. But as the pictures of his life played out before me on the large screen, I couldn’t help myself but to smile. There he was, full of life and how could one mistake that cheeky grin? That was Silort!
Not the withered body where the skin clung to bone because the flesh had disappeared. The midsize church which could easily fit 400 people, was packed to max capacity. The people filled the church and they spilled out into the courtyard.
As my tears continued to spill down my cheek, I ran into old friends. People I hadn’t seen in years. As children we would play silly games such as hide and seek and enjoy an afternoon in the sun playing kick-ball. I peered into their eyes, and they looked into mine. Sadness. It was all that we could see. I wasn’t sure if what I saw was not my own feelings mirrored in their equally dark shades.
Memories of laughing children and sun filled afternoons danced before my vision. I looked back at the screen and there was our old Pathfinder Director telling stories of Silort. I shook my head at the stories that were being told, some too hazy for me to recall in complete detail.
Soon another person came up and told another found memory of who Silort used to be. The next thing that caught me by surprise was a video. It was him, but he was dead. But the character on the screen was filled with life and love, and the close to 1,000 people who surrounded me proved that he had lived fully lived life in those short 2 and ½ decades of life. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church.
The loudest cry came from his mother. Her screams pierced my heart, and I found myself in a semi fetal position in the back of my car. Soon my family came and joined me, and we drove home in silence.
What resonated most with me, was all that Silort had accomplished in his short life. And all that he was still attempting to accomplish even while he lay on his death bed. Until his mind had shut down because of the pain, was the only thing that had shortened his creativity.
And so I wondered, what have I done? A few months separated Silort and I, and what had I done with the health that God had given me? What had I done to share the gospel?
And as clear as a summer day, I heard a voice ask me, “What about the radio station at Patmos?” I was dumbfounded. I had never even thought of the radio station, lest then think of being a part of it.
And so I jumped full force and called on a few friends to help me see this vision through. And honestly for the first 6 – 8 months we were meeting and planning, having guest speakers and we were having a real fledged radio show. I sat in the background producing. I did not want to be on the air.
But like most of my ideas, the flame had burnt out. It was so difficult to pull ourselves away at 5 in the afternoon to come do a show, that we weren’t sure that anyone was even listening to. We asked for listener’s feedback, and got a few from social media, like Cherie and my faithful parents.
As we approach the 3rd anniversary of his death, I ponder, if letting this program die would do him proud? Is God ashamed of me? He gave me something, because I had wanted to make a difference, and I let the dream and the vision die…
And so with help from the Lord, I am here like the dry bones in Ezekiel. I am asking that God will have His Spirit come and breathe new life into me, this blog and into you.