It’s always a treat to hear from readers. Skip Fengfish, a minister in Orlando, Fla., read the following article on the Web. Skip is the brother of Randi White, who I wrote about. We had a great e-mail exchange. I’m continually amazed that folks, like Skip, find my work on the Web and care enough to share their thoughts. It’s great knowing that something I wrote a couple years ago continues to touch and inspire others. So thanks, Skip, for getting in touch.
In memory of Randi, here’s the column again:
It was an unlikely place to share her faith, but that’s what Randi did. We were at a friend’s party, sitting on the couch, margaritas in hand. The music was loud. People were laughing and dancing. And Randi talked about her love for the Lord.
I’m not even sure how we got on the subject, but somehow we did. Maybe she sensed that I was struggling with my faith and needed to hear what she had to say. I remember telling her how envious I was of her relationship with God and how I must be a terrible person for feeling that way. “Why couldn’t I feel the way she did?” I thought.
And in her sisterly way, she told me that I wasn’t the one in control. That God hadn’t abandoned me even though at times I felt like he had. All this party chaos was erupting around us, but for those few moments, on that sofa, in that room, we were in the eye of the storm — just Randi, me and Christ. It’s a moment I will never forget.
Several months later, Randi White got sick and died. That horrible disease, cancer, took her away from all of us much too soon. She was only 48. She left behind her loving husband, Rick; children Jessica, Josh, Richie and Philip; an incredibly warm family; and too many friends to even think about counting.
We were all searching for answers and asking why. Why had someone who was doing so much good in the world and making a difference in other people’s lives have to die? I was overwhelmed with grief. And I was angry at God for, once again, allowing someone I loved to die. But then I remembered the conversation on the couch, the last real conversation we had before she died. I couldn’t help but think that we were supposed to end up on that couch, having that conversation, experiencing that moment.
I’ve been trying to follow Randi’s advice. It’s not always easy, but I’m trying.
I miss you, Randi. Thank you for a moment I will never forget.