I had planned on telling you the story of my daughter being born, but I left someone out of my story who I think deserves to be talked about. I am not sure if your mind has a way of blocking things out or moving them to the deep, back parts for storage or something, but i think he was a big part of my faith journey.
At the start of my 6th grade year, maybe 1978 or 1979, there was this new kid at school and it turned out he had moved into the neighborhood right by where I lived. We met and hung out a little bit, we had mutual friends so I had smoked some pot with him or something but not great friends.
I was walking home one night right after dark and I took my normal short cut through the back side of the apartment complex, along this path that ran right along the edge of the woods. As I was walking these 3 kids jumped out from behind a tree and surrounded me. They were a couple of kids my age I had seen around school and another kid that looked like he was a 7th grader. They had heard that I usually had some drugs or money on me and they wanted to take it from me.
Next thing I know, this guy comes out of no where, jumps on the 7th grader and just totally beats the crap out of this kid. I took advantage of the surprise attack and kicked one of the kids between the legs as the other one ran off. I kicked the kid a couple of more times to make sure he didn't get up and then swung around to defend myself against this new threat and discovered it was the new kid. He had saved me from a complete ass woopin, and from that point forward we were the best of friends, we were pretty much inseparable.
We were the type of friends that could not talk for a month and call and talk like we spoke to each other the day before. As I got older and started selling drugs he had my back and I knew it. He would give his life for me and I would have given my life for him He was the only person other than my mother I could truly trust.
On Christmas eve of 1997 he called to wish us a Merry Christmas and talk, but we were on the way out the door to my sisters house and I kind of rushed him off the phone. I told him I would call him in the morning, but I didn't know it would be the last time I would ever talk to him. At about 4:00 AM on Christmas day I got a phone call telling me that my first true friend I had ever had, died in a house fire. Wow, here I was supposedly celebrating the birth of Jesus, OK maybe not me, but others in the family were, and He took another person in my life from me. How could there be a God?