A dear friend passed away yesterday, muscular dystrophy finishing the terrible work it began in his childhood.
Randy and I met almost twenty years ago. It was hard to miss him, tall and imposing even in his motorized wheelchair. He and his sweet, redheaded wife attended the church I eventually joined, both of them singing in the choir and involved with the adult Sunday School classes. They were busy raising three kids, the youngest of whom - a little girl with Randy's big, deep brown eyes - was in my Awana group.
Intelligent, quick-witted and opinionated, Randy loved talking to people. He and I soon discovered a mutual interest in auto racing. While we followed different series, we each knew enough about the other's interest to discuss current happenings and tease one another about the relative worth of different types of cars/races.
But it was in a Precept Upon Precept in-depth Bible study that Randy's true love became apparent. Word by word, line by line, Randy delved into the Word, studying, thinking and applying what he learned. The rest of us were hard put to keep up with him.
Little by little, the disease robbed Randy of function. Externally, not much appeared to have changed, but internally vital functions were slowing down, the muscles controlling them weakening. Hospitalizations became more frequent, recovery times longer.
A mutual friend told me Saturday that Randy was in the hospital again, due to be released on Sunday, sent home into hospice care.
Randy did go home Sunday, but not to the house with the wide doorways, ramps and open spaces. He went home to be with the Lord. I'm sure he was running and laughing all the way.