This past Thursday morning, one of my dearest friends and brother pilgrims, Sam Campbell III, passed away.
I met Sam some ten years ago during my travels on LiveJournal, as a fellow Christian journeying on this road. Over the years we grew close, sharing in some of the same struggles, grappling with temptations, and grasping for an intellectual understanding and faith in God, and for His peace. Sam has been one of the gentlest, humblest, most caring souls I’ve ever encountered. He has looked out for me. From time to time, particularly if I’d gone silent from the online world for a while, he would drop me a line to ask if I was okay, to let me know he was thinking of me and praying for me. We’ve shared a love for Star Trek, Tolkien, hobbits, Linux, and so many other things; I could always be sure he would get my wry jokes and references. I never got a chance to meet him in person, but I felt as if I knew him so well: he was always there close by.
Sam was deaf and blind, and experienced so many sufferings in this life, but I never heard him complain. This week as we reflect on the Passion of our Lord, I’m reminded how willingly and patiently Sam took up the cross he had been given; how freely he gave of himself and made sacrifices for the sake of love, moving halfway across the country to become a loving husband to his wife Noelle, and a father to her two children. He was a good man, one of the best men I’ve ever known. I loved him a lot, and I’m going to miss him terribly.
I remember this week, too, that in the suffering and death of our Lord — though wrenching, painful, and sad — He purchased Resurrection and eternal life for those who trust in Him. Parting with those we love is sorrowful, but death from this life is but for a moment — the road goes ever on and on. Farewell for now, Sam. I look forward to the day when our paths will cross again.
Requiescat in pace, frater peregrine. Vale, dum coeamus iterum die illa.