I knew that he was dealing with things greater than he fathomed, so last year I purposed to lose the Internet and be more present in person. It was a super disturbing feeling that wouldn’t let me rest. Friendship must make count in more ways than one, no?
I remember going to visit him the next time with (of course) my 1000 troubles he was expecting to doctor through like always over the texts.
I sat on the chair by his bed from which he painfully sat up, and when he thought he’d sat comfortably enough to afford a smile, I thought… “who am I fooling? How dare I even start my ma things?”
I swerved him off my complaints. We talked about him.. His work. His next Ebifaananyi book review. About the kabaka run rant, and boy did he rant allover again! I listened like I had no extra chance tomorrow. I had none actually. It would be the occasional check ins.
Hours later, I was starting to want to leave, and another visitor was arriving. I thought that was relieving, as part of that conversation had no chance of ever being about me. I had my own dam ready to burst but I was never going to let that selfishness happen again. Not in that environment atleast…a place that clearly reminded you that Joel too had mountains.
I thanked him, again, for while we know him for the literary arts champion he was, I also know, MOSTLY, ABOVE EVERYTHING, that he unashamedly preached Salvation.
Losing one’s life to hide it in Christ. That losing one’s life would be their own gain.
I saw him in that brown box, the one he said they’d carry him in…or really the one we’ll all be eventually carried in. His face was frowned, and I thought, does his pain never end?! And then I reminded myself that it was his mortal clothing anyhow; he’d left it, and it didn’t matter anymore. He was now wearing an everlasting one. The one he couldn’t wait to wear in glory with our Lord!
He’s just been lowered to the ground. Now if I wasn’t Christian, now would be the time to know that Jesus, bestie he stood for so mightily. Because there’s people you’ve just got to see in the next life. People like Joel Benjamin Nevender.
But I am a Christian and friend he encouraged (like a million others) and had the privilege of knowing even just a bit. I will most definitely hang out with him in due time. In the meantime, I will rejoice now and my hope shall not run dry.