I have wrestled for a while to write something to you and time after time I chose not to. Why you ask? Was it fear? Was it sadness because you’re not here? Honestly, I don’t know, but I hope this letter makes up for it.
So as we in the world are in the midst of the holidays and a week out from Christmas I want you to know something: One, you are truly missed, and two, you were right. Yup, Jon, I’m finally going to admit that you were right.
I remember over two years ago sitting in our kitchen and listening to another one of your great ideas. You were imagining bringing a Woodstock type of event to Lynchburg, bringing our community together to enjoy great food, music, and laughter. It seemed crazy for that to ever happen in a town in the middle of nowhere in central Virginia. But I would soon learn that doubts wouldn’t ever deter you.
Now, I was trying to be a loving, kind, and respectful roommate, but to be honest, I thought you were crazy. You know, Jon, we had a lot of talks, and what continually amazed me and still does is how you would have such drive for something even though the odds were stacked against you.
I envied that so much. I wanted that power.
You never cared what people thought of your dreams, or if you were too cynical about Instagram. You had to make sure your outfit, which was pretty routine, looked just right for another day of classes even if you were 15 minutes late. And you would never dare shave your beard because somehow the “tons of women” that already found you attractive would think otherwise. You really did believe that you were a coffee connoisseur, and if someone said they liked Dunkin Donuts coffee – well, they just didn’t know what good coffee was.
You had amazing way of seeming so aloof but yet so aware. I can’t even remember how many times we had to ask you to do something as simple as doing the dishes or cleaning up after you finished cooking. Or how you would get stressed about an assignment you had weeks to finish but now you had to pull two back – to – back all-nighters to finish.
We didn’t understand that you were a big picture guy. You knew your weaknesses in life but never did you let them stop you. You started a nonprofit business to support your friends who wanted to do missions just because you saw someone’s need for help and encouragement.
So Jon, I want to thank you because you told me that I just needed to have courage in myself to go for the dream, to take a risk, to travel, to push myself off the cliff of being comfortable. You said that one day I’ll get there and to be patient. As I look back on 2015, I would say I’m definitely on my way.
In 2016, I vow to continue to live out your vision. That we as Christians would go forth and not just be talkers but doers of the word. That we would take risks. To believe in ourselves that our story isn’t done, no matter how many mistakes we make. That our journey continues, and with each other in community, we can accomplish great things.
You were right Jon. Life is much sweeter living under the sun chasing something.
You were right Jon. Singleness is a bigger benefit than we give it credit for.
You were right Jon. Lynchstock would bring the community of Lynchburg together. I’m sorry I ever doubted you.
Thank you for choosing to live in our house at the last minute. Thanks for your wisdom and the good talks we had. Thank you for driving me to campus for most of my senior year. Thank you for being my friend. You will always be missed Jon, but I’m so happy that your wish came true.
You always said you wanted a life that would leave an impact on this world and at the least your community. Mission accomplished!