Jesus will never betray one's trust. His friendship is life giving. Jesus loves us as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us as we are. That is, stuck in our sins. His friendship is demanding. He has given His very life for all of us. He calls us to love as He loves.
The names have been changed.
Augustine and I shared a love of helping others enjoy making music. When Augustine died, it was like I had lost my part in our shared script of life. A role I had been playing suddenly evaporated with his departure. The stage became quiet, and an emptiness set in.
Although Augustine never referred to himself as a christian of any flavour, he was raised an Anglican. I would call him a man of goodwill. My hope is that God granted him a swift and merciful judgment, and that at his death he met God Who, looking on Augustine's heart, saw a soul in need of His salvation. Encountering the living God at his personal judgment, it is my hope that Augustine recognized the One Who alone can grant all men eternal peace, and that he ran toward and not away from our Heavenly Father's loving embrace. God willing, I hope he and I meet again in the life of the world to come.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
All three of these brothers have been present and supportive during those moments when life has exerted a particular pressure: the death of my parents; a relationship gone south; job and health concerns; etc.
These exceptional friends would be the first to acknowledge their imperfections. It's not my task here to expose any of their failings, except to note that perhaps they are a little too hard on themselves at times. Rather, this is an opportunity to acknowledge that they have helped me overcome my own limitations. I look to all three friends as role models. I hope they know that it is because of their example and friendship that I am a better person. In my best moments, it's accurate to say those moments have been shaped considerably by their influence.
If Jesus is Lord of your life, there is little that will overturn your boat. Even if the boat does flip, Jesus is with you in the midst of it all. Sometimes, and if you are as thick as I am, it takes more than a few trials by fire to be purified of any doubt and to turn to the One Who is ready to rescue us from our bad decisions.
Jesus is real. A recent situation has confirmed, yet again, that God is ever present and looking after me. I am thankful to God that I have friends like Alphonse and Ambrose to remind me to place my trust in Jesus.