Chad and I in little league. I was the pitcher, he was the catcher. What you can't see was our secret weapon: The red baseball spikes (yes, to go along with our orange and black uniforms!)
Melanie, Cole and I are headed out of town on vacation for the next week. It promises to be an incredible week as we are primarily going to participate in my best friend’s wedding. I’ve known Chad since third grade. He moved to our area when his dad started as pastor at our church. We hit it off quickly and have been great friends ever since. Most of our years were spent playing sports together. Little league. Jr Basketball. Jr. Soccer. Varsity Basketball. You name it, we played it together.

Our friendship hit some rough times in our post college years. Not so much because we got pissed at each other or anything, but a little because we lived on opposite sides of the country (He in Cali and me in Philly) and mostly because he went through a really, really, really, really rough and time in his life where we had a hard time relating. At times, I didn’t really know if this was the same Chad that i grew up with. But, even though some of the crap, I always could see that he was still there. He was still the Chad I grew up with. Sure, he was hiding a bit, but he was there.

For many reasons, I won’t go into the details.

Now, I am not much of a crier (my wife has still yet to see me cry) but both of the times I have cried in the recent years have been due to news from Chad. The first time was about 5 years ago when he called and shared some hard news (thus he began a long seemingly dark journey). The second time was years later when he called me last fall to tell me he was engaged. Knowing what he went through, this was amazing news to hear.

I’m fairly certain that my wife will finally see me cry this Saturday afternoon. When I do, I’ll mostly be crying tears that flow from experiencing, witnessing and celebrating the graciousness and compassion of God.

To him who is able to more than we can ever ask or imagine….