Sure, he swears like a sailor, but my friend Ryan is brilliant in his insight and exhaustive in his consideration of the foundations of our theological understanding. His world-class legal training, excellent writing, and obvious intelligence mean that his latest blog post is spot-on. I wish I could have said it so well, and with so much compassion.
Yet for all his critique and deconstruction, the best thing about my man Ryan is that he doesn’t let any of that get in the way of his heart– he’s a faithful member of our church, he works hard to serve those outside our group, and he really cares about the people around him. To wit, a few days after our Will died, he patiently chased us down to gift us with a carefully planned take-home meal of pure comfort food. Which elements I will probably never forget: a pack of spicy sausages with some curry powder for extra flavoring, a big bag of tater tots, two six-packs of Dr. Enuf (a special soda from his hometown), and a pound of Chips Ahoy with a can of white frosting (for dipping the cookies). All of which frankly turned my stomach when I saw it piled on the Formica counter top, but all of which was completely consumed inside 24 hours. And he was right, of course: I felt better. A lot better.
His support continued in the first few months as he would quietly check in with me, always giving me the very same advice: “Hey, man, if you’re putting your pants on every day, you’re doing really well.” Now that I have mastered that discipline, he has continued with his gentle, kind support. I’m honored to have him for a friend, and I’m glad that he’s leading me in a reconsideration of theodicy. Most of all, I’m blessed that he lives humanely and not philosophically.