Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Brother Mike

I recently lost a friend. Truth be known I hadn’t really known him long. But he was a true friend, a brother.

He was a sweet, gentle man. An old soul. A little boy. Without knowing him it is really hard to understand that, knowing him it’s hard not to.  

He was from a small town in Arkansas, yet he had traveled the world. He was planning to lead a group to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro next summer. He invited me to go and I was so excited.

He raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for non-profit religious organizations, but had trouble keeping his electricity on.

He needed family, so he created it. He called and invested and loved, so deeply loved. Everyone became his family and he was a true brother.

He was a true servant of God and had the most redemptive of stories. He desired to live life to the fullest, but to live it in the way that God called him to. And so he did.

We spent some time together this past spring and talked and laughed and dreamed. We stayed up late into the night; it was sweet time. We tentatively began a conversation of future dreams and I think we both fearfully and secretly hoped they would come to pass. I’m deeply grieved they didn’t. I’m not sure they would have.

We had some hard good talks about things in our lives that we shared: our faith, our paths, our struggles. Talking with him and discussing some truths with him gave me some of the greatest peace. Peace I had so desperately needed. Peace that only someone like him could give to someone like me. His words filled me and eased fears that I didn’t realize I was holding on to so tightly.

He knew God. He lived his life with God. And now he’s with God.

There will be many people to meet me the day I go home to be with our Father. I will be excited to see so many. But I’ll especially be excited to see my brother Mike Woodall.

I’m so thankful for my time with you, thankful for the memory of you. When I miss you I find myself reaching for the book and turning to Isaiah the 53rd chapter and I hear you. I hear your voice and it is there that I find you reading to me about our Lord, about our Father.
Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name


Laura Wilson said...

This is so beautiful. I'm so sorry to not have known him.

holly wynne said...

I'm so sorry, Tara. What a lovely tribute.

Nicole Young said...

I am so deeply saddened for you. I'm sure you were to him what he was to you.

Phil Sanders said...

What a beautiful tribute. I too wished I had known him. Would loved to have talked about many things.