Are you like me and forget the name of the person you just met?  There’s the formality that gets exchanged in the moment:

Hello

Handshake

Then we say “it’s nice to meet you”

I wonder how many times each of us has gone through that routine in our lifetime—no one keeps track of this type of exchange.  It just happens and we move on.  We tally some as friends, others as acquaintances.  Each individual makes an impact on our lives – some for better – some not so.  I think of the richness I’ve experienced by individuals I call my “friends”.  I meet them in the halls at work and church life, at family events, and at various celebrations and we pick up like the time lapsed hasn’t changed a thing.  There’s an immediate connection over the things we value.  It’s so divine.  I quickly notate in my mind’s journal how many teachable moments their lives offer me even when they don’t realize others are watching and taking mental notes.

Different seasons of life allow all of us to recount what is important to us by those we surround ourselves with.  Today, I recount how a particular individual impacted my life as a result of our lives traversing the same paths in life.  His name is Chris Walton.  This man was the kind of person who did not enter or exit a live without making an impact.  If you met Chris, you immediately knew he was a man who valued people.  He had the gift of making people feel noticed and valued.  He had a six-sense about himself and never wasted an opportunity to lift a weary soul.  But that was not all he offered, he also had a spirit of pride in his family life and work life.  He didn’t mind going the extra mile when needed—even if it required him to make some personal sacrifices which he did often for many individuals and job related assignments.

When Chris passed the weekend after working closely with the R2R team, I learned that he had his team show up at 3:45 am at the park to set up for the fundraiser that would safe underage girls from predators, I sat there in silence.  I had no idea he had planned this.  I just remember his words in one of the last meetings and him reaching out his hand to me and saying, “Thank you for trusting me with this project, I know it is very dear to your heart.”  What a guy.  I don’t know much of Chris’ life long story and what triggers were turned on to make him the man he chose to be but I do know this—his reward will be huge in heaven because he chose to give more when he could’ve chosen to give less.

Many lives speak without ever saying a word but they live on purpose and deep down and we know it.  Chris,was one of those individuals.  You are missed more than you can imagine by sooooooooo many.  We know you are having the time of your life beyond the clouds and we sit here wondering what lives you have already impacted in the heavenly realm.  Perhaps you already received a hard hat for the upcoming kingdom business you will oversee because you practiced well here on earth.  Well done good and faithful servant of God…your life on earth has challenged us and so has your life in heaven.  Thank you friend…you are a gift that keeps on giving into our lives.  We will see you again, and by the way R2R raised close to 147K – thanks for ALL YOUR HARD WORK SIR.  The thanks of those who experience freedom will resound in heaven soon.