A Tie For A Friend
Today I wore a tie.
This something that is not normal for me.
I wear ties at times, but normally only for special occasions: Christmas Eve, Easter, when I preach, weddings, or when I go on a fancy date with Antonia. Otherwise I’d much rather try to get away with wearing jeans and a comfortable shirt. But today I did wear a tie, and it was for none of the above reasons, but it was a special occasion.
My dear friend Benjamin Gotchel (who has posted twice on this blog) had surgery today to get a malignant tumor on his brain stem.
On monday he was hanging out with Antonia and I. I was making fun of his socks and he was kicking my butt in ‘Clue’. We talked for a while and hung out, and then he went home. The next day I got a text from him saying they had discovered the tumor on his brain stem. Then, just 3 days later, he entrusted himself to the hands of the surgeons that they might remove this tumor from his brain.
Over the past day or so people have been rallying around Ben’s side to support, and pray for, him. One person even decided that they were going to entitle today, “Tie Day” and that they were going to encourage everyone to wear a tie in honor of Ben and to remind them to pray for his surgery. I thought this idea was awesome. So for this special occasion I wore a tie today.
Recently, I received a phone call from a friend telling me that after 5 and a half hours, Ben is out of surgery. The tumor came out cleanly and that he is fine. Now all that is left if to pray for his recovery and hope that not many more treatments are needed and that no further complications arise. This is why I a tie today along with many others.
As I wore my tie today, watched his facebook feed, and thought about Ben’s life I realized something: I want to live a life more like his.
It is interesting because I’m sure when he reads this he would tell me the same about my life, but that is exactly what I love about Ben: he strives in all things to put others above himself. Actually the whole concept of his blog, “Et Al” and the tattoo on his wrist (with those words) is build around that idea. “Et Al” means, “and others” and reflects Ben’s heart exactly. So it comes to no surprise that so many people would rally around Ben today and wear their ties proudly. They rally around him because he loves others well, and because he reflects Jesus in way he lives. He is an inspiration to us all, even if he says he shouldn’t be or that he has a lot to work on.
I can’t help sitting here and wondering what the response would be if I found myself in his situation.
My hope and pray is that no matter what that response may be that I would love others well and inspire people to do the same.