So long for now.

Everyone once in a while you come across someone that as my Dad would have said is “cut from a different cloth.” This past week I lost a friend that was not only cut from that cloth, but came from a bolt that must have been hidden in the back of the storeroom – Norfleet Reichle. If you knew him, you know he was somewhat of a celebrity in and around Columbus, especially for his culinary skills. But you also probably knew that he could have been the poster child for a phrase coined by comedian Steve Martin because Norfleet could be “a wild and crazy guy.” I was honored to officiate his funeral because he was also a man that quietly loved Jesus. He enjoyed life to the fullest, but in the times we were able to just sit and talk, you knew you were in the presence of someone that knew God and longed to do better. Yes, Norfleet had his demons, but as I reminded those at his funeral, we all do. We all make mistakes; although we do not want to admit it, we all have bad traits and habits of which we are not proud; we have all done things we regret; and we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but he continues to love us, regardless. Norfleet even had his on special way of encouraging me because I can still hear him saying “Preacher, keep preaching. Sometimes they listen.” And I hope they do – not to me but to our Father that is with us our whole life’s journey whether times are good or bad. Exodus 33:14 says that God said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.” And He does. So long for now my friend. You will be greatly missed, but now I know you rest at the end of your earth journey in the truest presence of God.