My friend, Brother Randy Horton, lived a life of deep faith, without being somber all the time. Too much seriousness makes one a dull hermit, which he was in the Episcopal Diocese of New York until his sudden death at the end of this past April. His funeral liturgy and internment of his cremated remains was held earlier today. It's so fitting that the last profile picture he posted on Facebook was of the altar at Fessenden House, where he lived and served those in recovery, in its Easter array.
Brother's faith was strong, but he didn't grasp it so tightly as to choke the life out of it. He was more concerned about living it, not clanging his cymbal to gain attention for himself. A recovering alcoholic himself, he helped so many others on their journeys of recovery.
As a hermit, he helped still more on their paths, always reminding the importance of the vows made and to WHOM they were made. He helped this hermit through one of the darkest nights of the soul, when God seemed dead, but all without attempting to control what was going on or how I experienced it. He let me know what was happening, that I was not crazy, and then let go of the outcome. Pretty humble, that.
Some folks come along in a person's life wherein distance, time and space have no effect over their friendship. It may have been relatively brief, as it was when Brother Randy dropped dead from a heart attack. We had never met in person, but that doesn't make his death any less painful, yet filled with the hope of the Resurrection. He was my friend, pure and simple.
And he had a wonderfully wicked sense of humor! His penchant for hats and costumes was legendary, from what I gather. But he was real, which is what a monk should be. Wherever he found himself, he treated all as Christ. Thank you, Brother, for your guidance and love. May you be dancing and wearing your giant sombrero in the fields of the Lord...