Sharing light with a friend
It was Christmas 2012 and my friend Eric Lentz was dying. At 6’ 4” and almost 300 pounds, he towered over most people. His favorite way to greet someone was with a big ol’ bear hug. He was the big man around the Salisbury/Spencer area, with an even bigger heart. I’m not absolutely sure why it brings me to tears, not only to write about him, but to think about him as well. I knew him for most of my life, but my mom knew him longer; her best friend and he had both married into the same family. Eric was the person you would meet for the first time and could talk to for the rest of the day. On the random occasions we saw each other at church or at a cookout, we always ended up talking. He was just plain nice. He was a friend, just not the person I would immediately describe as someone who had changed my life. That is, until his massive aneurysm.
One evening right before Christmas, my mom and I stopped by the hospital to see Eric. He was stable, but he could not talk or eat by himself due to a tracheotomy. He nodded at us as we came in. Even without him speaking, we knew his disappointment in missing the Christmas church service that following week. Since I was scheduled to perform a solo for that service, I decided to sing a couple of verses for Eric and his family as he lay in his hospital bed. As I came to the last measure, I could see his eyes, clear as they’d been that night, look past my shoulder. I realized that he could not focus in the proper direction, and as I moved into his line of sight, he mouthed “Thank you.” That one moment had so much of an effect on me. I could not help the tears that flowed out. He managed to shake my hand as I was leaving the room. Despite the weakness from the once strong hands, it was still a handshake from my good friend.
Even though it was a cold, dark night, we could feel the light of Christ in that hospital room. From that experience with Eric, I know now God has given me a little light to share with others, as I share my music and love.
Dear God, let me be the vessel for your light as I share your light with others. Amen.