A friend vanished from our lives last week. The shock has hit his community of friends hard…it isn’t supposed to happen this way. He and his son went hiking on an impromptu trip to the Colorado mountains and literally disappeared. They called off the search a week after they were last heard from.
I first met Damian as he was joining and I was exiting the women’s council at the company where we worked; it would be the first of three times we passed each other in transition. I was intrigued as to why a guy would ask to join an all-female group. That took courage, and because of it I admired him immediately. Damian is easy to like. He has a ready smile, and when he’s with you, he’s really with you. Since he went missing, I’ve been amazed not only at the number of my friends who knew him but who were also touched by him. They are dispersed not just geographically, but also by gender, age, and job. His family deserves to know how widespread his impact has been.
The shock of their sudden disappearance and lack of closure on their fate have been unsettling. Media headlines used the words “missing” and “lost”, but as I kept Damian and Evan in my prayers during the week of the search, I knew they were never really lost. None of us ever are. While we may lose our way, physically or spiritually, the God who made us and loves us is always with us. We may lose our ability to sense His presence, but He is there just as surely as the oxygen we breathe but cannot see.
My prayers have shifted to Katherine and Lauren as they deal with their loss. I have faith that Damian and Evan are now safe and loved and at peace. My wish for their family is some measure of that peace, knowing that the world is a better place through the many lives they have touched.
“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 8:39