It was an early Saturday morning and I was packing up my car in preparation for an appearance at The Atlanta Mission. I opened my passenger door and placed my stuff on the seat: bag, keys, cellphone, and sun glasses, leaving the car door open as I moved towards loading my hatchback. After a few rounds full of blankets and canned goods, plus a trip to give my daughter her medicine, I was finally ready to pull up Waze and be on my way. As I went to grab my phone, Eric Koby’s face was staring up at me on the screen. It was Eric’s headshot, the photo from his Fat Rabbit website. As I’m processing the photo, I remember that his funeral would take place in an hour, and I tearfully prayed for his wife and children.
With the tears came questions of grief: how did this happen? But, there was Eric staring at me. A smile grew on my face as I realized the gift I had been given. Eyes fixed on my screen, I started talking to Eric, and then I placed the phone high into the most beautiful blue sky and praised God for this angel.
It was not an accident or coincidence. I believe it was Eric. My iPhone has a lock screen that always requires a passcode or my thumbprint. The last time I viewed any image of Eric was three day prior for a Facebook post. But as far as Eric’s headshot, I had not viewed it in days; there was no logical explanation for its appearance on my screen in this moment. But on another train of thought? I know it was Eric. Thoughtful, wise, kind, Eric.
I’m honored and humbled by this experience. Eric Koby was an important spiritual marker in my life, and a friend that taught me about compassion and consistency. I’ll never forget the tears he cried when he met Steven Curtis Chapman and thanked him for the inspirationto adopt his daughter, Julie, nor the tears I shed when I watched the video from the trip to Ethiopia he and Heather took to get their son. Now among my memories I fold in this one final special visit. I am grateful.