I felt as though I was invading his privacy.
Which I would never do.
As if I was looking straight into his heart.
Which he was allowing me to do.
Stephen had left the door open.
He had given me an open invitation to come in.
He had left behind the story of his life.
In one of the used book stores I frequent, I will often look for the rare find.
Not an expensive collector’s item.
But a personal treasure that someone has for some reason discarded.
I have found Bible’s with a name and address in them and mailed it back to them in another state with a note that says. “I really think you are going to need this more than you initially thought.”
Can you imagine receiving a note like that, enclosed with your personal Bible, sent by a total stranger from far away?
Who would not take that as a sign?
In this case, I noticed a leather type journal, among the books.
I like journals.
This journal had “Trust In The Lord” branded onto the cover as part of the design.
I opened it to the inside cover, and there on the page that said, “This Journal Belongs To:” was the following information.
A full name. (First name Stephen)
A phone number.
An email address.
Turning to the first page, I found an entry from February 7, 2012.
It began this way.
“Spiritual dejection is when I pray that God gives me an answer to my prayers rather than seeking His will for my life.”
Over many pages which concluded on October 14, 2012, I learned that Stephen was, writing these entries from a rehabilitation facility.
I learned he was dealing with an alcohol and drug dependency, his marriage to his wife, Heather, was shaky at best.
He missed his two daughters Emma and Grace, and prayed they would not follow in his footsteps.
His grandfather committed suicide which had a large impact upon him.
He had trust issues.
Stephen battled with depression and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Maybe, most of all, he had a horrible self image of himself.
He referred to himself and the way he felt others saw him in a manner I cannot write in this entry.
Stephen had many notes from an Easter Sunday service.
He did not like his counselor, Doug, nor did he think Doug had the insight to help him.
It was for me.
His last entry from October 14, 2012, concluded with these words:
“Is depression just part of my DNA? I think possibly so.”
There are no more entries after that.
So our lives really are an open book aren’t they?
For others to come behind and read the pages of our life.
Here’s what I am going to do.
Stephen’s life is not mine to keep.
It is his life.
I will send this entry in an email to the address in the front of the journal.
I will offer to bring, or mail, the journal to him.
He also listed an address in Atlanta, Georgia, that I may use to locate him.
When I do locate Stephen, I will say or write to him these words.
“Stephen, thank you for the look inside your life. It obviously has not been an easy life to live. BUT, your life is far from over. There are many days ahead of you. I pray you will continue to find hope in this life, and in God, and finish this journal as God finishes His work in you.” John
What an awesome discovery for a Friday.
The Life Of Stephen.