“The Little Things”
October 14, 2009
(Steve N. Circa 1977)
Is it possible to measure a man by things he did in his youth?
I am re-acquainting myself with someone who is definitely an “Old Friend” after several decades.
This person, while on the sideline of my life for years, made profound influences. Not by doing something great, wonderful, or earth shaking. It was in the tiniest, most fragile of things, we often find memories which remain as indelible as ink.
I met Steve while I was working with the Federal Aviation Administration in Palmdale. Not unlike my present surroundings here in Tucson, the Antelope Valley in California is also a desert environment.
The things that I remember most about Steve, were his un-yielding smile and enthusiasm, attention to God, and prayer. He always had a smile on his face, rarely a frown, and a kind word on his lips. Steve was neighbourly. He was also, quite humble.
Steve seemed to have three passions: A love for the outdoors (especially climbing), painting, and tea.
I have shared in all of these passions.
The only time I’ve ever been rock climbing was with Steve at a place called “The Devil’s Punchbowl.” While I nearly passed out from exhaustion, Steve was able to get me to safety, and I survived to tell the tale. I still have a rope burn scar on my right hand. A reminder of the incident.
I remember hiking through the Yosemite Valley with Steve and some friends. Hours of what seemed like arduous and tedious driving. Made worth it in the first few moments upon seeing one of the natural wonders of the world.
Steve’s passion for life, drove me into a life long involvement of doing Youth Ministry. (outcastpress.org and a Facebook group I help moderate: Christian Goths) I have always worked with kids. Steve was far from being a kid at the time, but that impish grin of his sometimes betrayed his appearance.
Steve’s second passion is painting. I never knew if Steve would become a successful artist, but he showed remarkable talent. I’ve been fortunate in having one of Steve’s early paintings, adorn the living room of every place I’ve lived for over three decades now.
A daily reminder of my youth, and time well spent with an “old friend.”
But in the most humblest of offerings, Steve’s true nature was born.
Tea. Steve had what I surmised, to be the largest collection of loose Tea. We’re not talking “Lipton” here.
The very first time I’d ever heard of “Earl Grey Tea” — was not someone saying: “Tea! Earl Grey! Hot!” Rather it was Steve saying: “You ought to try this!” And so with care, he brewed a couple of cups. We sat and talked, and I enjoyed my first cup of “real tea.” Ahh. The little things. The one’s that you never forget.
To this day, when I have a cup of tea, I am always reminded of Steve’s humble circumstances, and this precious gift.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.” (Mark 9:41 NIV)
And so it goes…..