A friend of mine reminded me that I haven’t written about the people God has placed in my life to encourage and grow me in awhile. I am thankful for the people in my life, I would not be the man I am today without them. They help me get through the day, quick with a prayer or a much needed “suck it up.” Who are you doing life with? God has put people in your life to learn from, to grow, to influence, as well as, be influenced. Find them, thank them, love them.
I met Augie in college. He was part of a group of friends I met when I lived in Ithaca, NY. When I look back on my life I can see Gods work in even placing me to meet these friends. Many are getting married now and we are scattered across America but we stay close to this day. I let many of them beat me in fantasy football so they can feel better about themselves. I’ve let Augie beat me a lot; he needs the emotional boost most.
Augie is Christian man from Long Beach, California. I had to represent LBC or Augie would’ve gotten upset. He is loyal to his hometown, Taco Bell and to his friends. He is covered in tattoos, likes his coffee black, and his music screaming. He shaves with a straight razor. I’ve attempted to give him numerous ‘stick and poke’ tattoos and even succeeded in using a tattoo machine to give him a real one. We once tried to karate chop each other in the neck to see who would pass out first. We giggled like little kids instead.
He loves talking about Jesus, and not the basic stuff, (he’d call it entry level crap but with a couple more four letter words added in) but the deep things of God. Things and theology that most people are afraid to talk about, the hurts we carry, the memories of sin, the weight of the world. The process of becoming more like Jesus and not simply behavior modification. Augie has this beautiful passion for criminal offenders, especially those facing capital punishment. That work suites him.
Augie and I wrestle with similar things and it is always an honor to hear his voice and pray against the darkness that creeps into our lives. He has this no crap attitude that I need to hear when I dig myself into a depression. A “suck it up and move forward” or a “don’t be a ______” goes a long way from Augie. We pray against the attack of satan in our lives and the memories of old sin that creeps in during the quiet of the night. He challenges me in my thinking and helps me see the grace and love of Jesus more clearly.
He strives to be a man of God. Seeking to discover authentic manhood, not what we see in movies or an emasculated version of ourselves, but who God has created us to be. He loves the people in his life with his whole heart, even when he says otherwise. Augie works hard and gives life everything he has. He doesn’t give up easy. He fights. Wherever God has placed Augie, things just move toward Jesus.
I am blessed by Augie, and many more people are as well. You’re not meant to do life alone. Live in community. Be thankful for the people God has placed in your life already.