We lost a beloved friend today, Liz. She was first our friend, but played such a bigger role ultimately. She was one of those rare and few people in your life that did more than wish you well, but instead she invested her time and contributed toward that. Before we were ever married, Aaron and I had a crossroads type of relationship moment and in my heart I was on the way out, folding my cards. In hours there is a knock and in walks Liz – plain clothed and smiling. “Tell me what’s going on Polly”? Aaron had called her to help and she came …. right then. She and I talked and then we all talked and another day was added to the life story that had only just begun. Then years went by and a few brunches and coffee talks with Liz and we were asking her to officiate our wedding. She conducted the normal course of pre-marital counseling which I’m sure we didn’t think we needed. I will NEVER forget and I reflect back on it REGULARLY, when she said “given the extreme differences in your personality types, you have an incredible opportunity to see the world in a much bigger way than people who are together who have many similarities. This will be your blessing, IF you remember to appreciate that gift and listen and benefit from a different perspective. Don’t forget it’s your gift or it can also drive you apart”. I never ever forgot that. And boy, oh boy, was she right. What a gift!!! And how easy to forget. Liz was everything I could turn my heart toward when the pain and disgust with my church experience was underway for so many years, and even now, I can remember the rare few who actually walk and live and love in the way it is said to be shown in an abiding relationship with Jesus. She was brave and strong. She was irreverent and funny as can be. She was kind and uniquely gifted with words. She had a pure way about her, which doesn’t mean free from mess, it means free from pretense and I never ever felt like a project of hers to earn grace points. No matter the circumstances of illness and suffering or sudden painless departures, it never seem like I can arrive at “ready” to embrace the space left. There is no question in my mind that this beautiful child of God is lighting up the passage as we speak. Thank you Liz for being such a good and faithful friend, thank you for being such a good and faithful servant.