Friendship is one of the uniquely human things of all the species living on the planet. While other members of God’s creation have special bonds with one another, it is humanity that builds friendships spanning time and barriers. There are many versions of the quote that says, “If you get to the end of your life and can count X number of friends, you are fortunate.” I’m sure that statement is made from someone’s observation and experience with people who stayed and with people who walked away.
Keith Layne was my friend. He is still my friend. The Scripture teaches that a friend loves at all times, and I can tell you that now, 14 years to the day after his death, I still love Keith Layne and his memory. I loved his laughter, I loved his sense of humor, I loved the way that he knew when to take life seriously, and he knew when to throw caution to the wind and laugh.
Keith was one of God’s unique characters who could find joy in the smallest of things. I’ve been with him when he got emotional (or seemed to) about a hamburger, and I’ve certainly been with him in church services where we wept under the powerful display of the presence of God. He loved being friendly to down and out waitresses, and I’ve seen him stand on the sidewalk and pray for someone that he didn’t hardly know.
I’ve long since settled in my mind that I will leave this world with unanswered questions. The Lord told us that we would not understand His ways, but it still seems to be shocking to us when we don’t understand His ways. I plainly do not understand why Keith had to die from an aortic aneurysm so young, but I’ve also learned how deeply I trust God even when I can’t track God.
I miss my friend.