If not for Ben…
I might have continued my education.
If not for Ben, I might have become a missionary, a counselor or a linguist.
If not for Ben, I might have had opportunities to lead, to influence, or perhaps just to enjoy an easier life.
In many ways, Ben has determined the course of my life: what I do, where I go and who I know. If not for Ben, where would I be now? More importantly, who would I be?
If not for Ben, I would have missed the miracle of watching his life change the hardened and the proud. I would have missed seeing the “bad boys” lay down their armor to treat him with special tenderness. I would have missed a thousand acts of kindness from children as well as adults. I would even have missed the uncanny understanding that animals show him.
If not for Ben, I would have missed witnessing God circumvent his limited understanding to breathe life into his spirit. I would have missed seeing his unrestrained joy in worship, in communion and in baptism.
If not for Ben I might have lost the wonder of Christmas and toads and chocolate milk.
If not for Ben I would never have understood love the way I do.
If not for Ben I would never have known God the way I do.
Through Ben I’ve learned how deeply God’s love for us is rooted simply in our existence, rather than in our performance.
Just because something is hard, doesn’t make it bad. It’s just hard. And in God’s economy, hard always produces something good. Because of Ben, I’ve tasted grace in the hard and glory in the good.
If not for Ben, my life would have been different, yes, but poorer too. Ben has taught me to be more patient, more peaceful and more grateful.
All of us are traveling on detours from the roads we thought we would be on. At one time I might have grieved that – if not for Ben, who has opened up my eyes and my heart and my world just by existing.
Yes, without Ben I may have achieved more by the world’s standards, but I would have lived less. My life would have been emptier, my heart harder and my faith shallower – if not for Ben.