Two guys just stopped by my office. Last time I saw the two of them together was in 2003. They looked a lot different then, younger more naive, ready to take on the world no matter what anyone said. Today they looked a little more world weary. They've seen things, experienced things that have added a little more of an edge to them.
These guys looked around the youth room, found their hands on the Wall of Fame, reminisced about others whose hands and names were on the wall as well. They looked at pictures, complained that they weren't in any of them (not true), swapped stories of this trip and that trip, laughed a little and then we headed upstairs...
To the sanctuary. To make sure that the photo slide show, one of these guys put together, will work on the church computer. To the sanctuary, where in a few hours one of them will share his memories of his Dad and say a very public goodbye. The world weariness, for one of these guys, came quickly, the edge was earned through choices made by a Dad in despair. The despair that he left behind, though, is just as great.
Two guys came by my office today. The last time I saw them together, they were graduating High School, prepared to take on the world. Today they returned, a little beaten up and bruised, disillusioned but underneath, I caught a glimpse of the guys I used to know and praised God for the men they have become.