The ambulance was pulling into the ER when I arrived, and I ran to Daryll’s (Big D) side. His arms dangled over the stretcher as it was lowered out. He wasn’t moving. The man that could press 300-plus pounds over his head, and he didn’t move a muscle. Unconscious, unresponsive, helpless. It puts the fear in you seeing someone that size on his back. He set the bar physically, encouraged me emotionally, and stood next to me at my wedding.
He was as sturdy as they came.
In a matter of minutes, the waiting room was packed with D’s friends and family anxiously awaiting news of his condition. It says a lot about a man who can fall down and have so many people suddenly there to help pick him up. It speaks to his character and compassion for others.
That was Big D.
My friend was enormous, strong, and so able to weather the afflictions of life. Nothing could bring down Big D.
As I walked around outside the hospital entrance for a couple of minutes, I tried to gather my thoughts and the strength to walk back inside. A deep breath, an exhale, and a silent prayer for D’s recovery. When I returned to the waiting room Darryl’s mother, girlfriend, ex-wife, and two daughters were crying. Big D had died of a massive heart attack. The man with so much love in him was taken down by his own heart.
He was forty-one years old.
The tears crept closer and closer to the surface, leaving me stripped and vulnerable. Another funeral to attend. Another friend to bury. Another wound to heal. Another hole in me to fill.
Before Darryl’s memorial service, I felt like crying. I even told Pastor Haman Cross Jr., who was doing the eulogy. I’m so glad I did. He replied as if Yah whispered directly to him.
And I did. I allowed my soul to grieve, and that simple act of showing emotion gave me the power to speak at the funeral so boldly it gave many of our gym friends closure to D’s death. And as I stood in the mausoleum, weeping over Darryl’s coffin, Pastor Dennis reached down and wiped the tears from the casket with a rose, then laid it on top.
“Jason, it’s time to go.”
The Bible says when Lazarus died, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). It is the shortest yet arguably the most powerful Scripture when it comes to Yahushua modeling the vulnerability of tears and strength in a natural response to great heartache. Yet Christ did it knowing He would soon raise His friend from the grave. Still, His gut reaction was necessary to heal—to feel hurt and cry is an important part of that process.
Un-grieved losses are unhealed wounds that eventually get infected with depression, anxiety, and fear, just to name a few. Christ let Himself, as well as those around Him, mourn as a soul should. Yah knows that in order for our souls to recover from earthly pain, we have to express it.
John 11:35 KJV
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Ecclesiastes 3:4 KJV
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Romans 12:15 KJV
Let me just say that this devotional for day 3 is the whole reason I felt the need to share this Bible study with everyone. It immediately took me back to standing over my Pawpaw’s casket crying so hard my dad had to catch me and hold me up. And then for twenty years I don’t remember shedding another tear…
Guys, I’m not going to share too much now as I believe it will come out in the next Stu’s World post but do want to share a few stories with you. Please take a moment out of your busy Sunday and read these older posts…as they give you a deeper insight into why I get so emotional now.
Cry, men, cry. It’s not a weakness. It’s actually a strength!