The Stories of John and Eddie

Recently, I listened to a podcast by The Wide Eyed Creative, Bob Stromberg.

Bob had done an earlier podcast with a high school friend of his named John. The two of them had had no connection or contact with each other for well over twenty years. Somehow, John heard Bob’s podcast and reached out to him to set the record straight on some things brought up in the first podcast.

John’s home life as a young boy was quite different from Bob’s. John’s father was an angry alcoholic and that anger would play itself out on John and his mom. Both Bob and John do a very good job on the podcast of painting the picture of John’s youth. John was eager to share that, in spite of, and maybe somewhat because of, his difficult childhood, he has thrived as an adult.

John attributed at least some of that success to Bob and his family for providing him with some sense of what a stable home looked like.

This podcast brought to mind a young man I went to school with for just a couple of years either later elementary or early junior high. His name was Eddie.

Eddie was small for our age at that time in our lives. From my recollection, he wore the same clothes every day and they weren’t very clean. He was often late to school or simply didn’t show up at all. His homework was often late, if it got turned in at all.

Eddie got picked on and, sadly, I was probably one of those picking on him.

As I listened to John talking about the impact Bob had on his life I wondered if I could have had an impact on Eddie those many years ago. What if I had simply sat down and had lunch with Eddie or if I called out those guys who were picking on him rather than joining in? Could I have made a difference?

It takes courage to reach out to those who are different than we are.

Likely, Eddie grew up in a home much like John’s. At the tender ages we were in elementary or junior high the thought of his home life never entered my mind.

I was blessed to grow up in a stable household. Both of my parents were loving and attentive. That was my normal and I just thought that was everyone else’s normal as well.

The memory of Eddie is deeply embedded in my psyche. My lack of courage with Eddie has caused me to be more courageous through the years as his face appears in my mind when I see someone in similar circumstances. I’ve still passed up a lot of opportunities but I am better.

My lack of courage is one of the regrets I have in my life. That regret has also spawned a lot courage in an effort to be redeemed of my lack of grace for Eddie.

Bob Stromberg’s podcast is a reminder to me that, even as adults, we have John’s and Eddie’s in our lives.

Do you have the courage to reach out to those in your life?

What regrets do you have that can be redeemed by an act of courage today?

Wherever you are, Eddie, I pray your life has turned out like John’s and that someone stepped in to fill in the gaps in your life!

John 18:15-27


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