I loved walking to and from church when I was young.
I was usually alone or with my friend, Mel.
In the summer, I would usually ditch the church shoes and walk barefoot. The uneven pavement in front of the llama farm was my favorite. I think I memorized every crack. In the winter, the glare off the snow was blinding. I never wore sunglasses. My running shoes were my Sunday shoes and got me through the deep snow.
And always, just always, there was my favorite old man walking in front of me.
He was German and quiet. He wore the most fantastic fedoras that had feathers in them.
If you know me at all, maybe some puzzle pieces are sliding into place here.
He was peaceful and content.
I really wanted to talk to him. Mostly, just to hear his accent.
When he spoke in church, you felt his words nourish a small corner of your soul that you didn’t know was ache-y. Every time he spoke, he began with "I rejoice in the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
And if it were possible for someone to be more beautiful than he was, it was his wife. In my mind, she is probably one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. Truly. She has the bluest eyes, a tiny frame and showed me the power of humility. And believe me, it is a power.
I did get him to talk to me on our Sunday walks. He never said much but, what he did say was always worth remembering.
Here’s the best thing he taught me:
“Honesty may not be everything, but everything is nothing without honesty.”
He was the first person to talk to me about seeking after truth. The real kind.
At the end of our days, we will get a sentence, maybe two if we’re lucky.
She was American. She was patient. She was crazy. She was a mom. She was a writer. She loved mountains. She loved people. She was a trier.
So, F. Enzio Busche, if I may be so bold as to give you a sentence in my story here at the end of your days.
He loved God with all his heart.
Rest in Peace, Elder Busche. (1930-2020)
Thank you for your beautiful testimony.
It changed many things.
More than you’ll ever know.
If you’ve never read his book, “Yearning for the living God”, read it. His childhood in Germany and how he came to know God is beyond incredible.