I spent last Friday afternoon with Michael. His mom Sally had a hair appointment and so it was just us for a good hour or so before he had his therapies. I talked to him about all kinds of things, because goodness knows I’m a talker. I shared updates about Youth Group and the weather and just life in general and also how his friends were doing and how much we all loved him and were praying for him. His responses these days are still with pretty solid eye blinks as well as some stronger hand and arm movements. I’m pretty sure we’re both looking forward to the day when our conversations aren’t as one sided, but it seems to work for now.
We didn’t get up to see him today, but Jeremy and I are planning for a visit tomorrow afternoon. But it was funny, because there were quite a few times today that Michael came to mind. The first was at the end of our worship service at Eastport Bible Church. Pastor Jerry had his hand raised during our closing song and prayer. And I immediately noticed that he was wearing a blue “Prayers and Strength for Michael Einfeldt” bracelet. Then later today, a few times Christian asked if we would go and see Michael today. We had decided not to because it was a busy day and also because we knew that he had a few friends that were up visiting this afternoon. Then this evening, I sat with Grammy Joy from our church and we spent time talking about Michael and how he was doing.
Michael comes to mind a lot. Which got me thinking about my next project. Which came to me tonight and which I will now share with you.
Summer is coming. And I know that it was always a time that Michael loved. He spent a lot of his summers, outdoors, on the water or at the beach. He always joined up with us for our summer Youth Group events, many of which involved serving others. Michael made sure to live every day to the full and this is where our help comes in.
As I’ve shared here before, there’s this incredible verse in John, chapter 10 verse 10. It was Jesus telling us why he came to earth, to live and eventually die for us. It’s because he wanted us to live full and abundant lives. He knew there were good things in store for us and good things that He had for us to do.
So basically, I thought it would be a cool challenge to find ways that we could live our lives to the full this summer, and to do it for Michael. The idea was solidified when I noticed on Facebook today a post shared from one of Michael’s friends that said, “So proud of our ensemble. ESM Percussion Ensemble earned a superior rating in competition, and worked extremely hard this year. I’m going to miss all you guys next year! We did it for Michael Einfeldt 💜” It made me think of how cool it would be to do things for and in honor of Michael this summer.
So as I was thinking, I broke it down into three ways that Michael always lived his life.
- Adventure: Michael was always up for a good adventure. Usually it would be outdoors. He’d go and find it or sometimes it would just find him.
- Kindness: Michael was a friend to everyone. People were always drawn to him because he had this awesome way of just loving people and making them feel important.
- Faith: Michael had an incredibly strong faith. It grew from connecting with Jesus and provably years of Youth Group and being involved at Eastport Bible Church. Being a part of a church family is so important and Michael knew this and lived this out.
So the challenge is to make a specific commitment to live life to the full by doing one or these (or even all three).
Find an outdoor adventure. If you’re local to Long Island, this is fairly easy. Explore our beautiful beaches or hike our awesome trails.
Show kindness to someone (or to lots of people). That in itself will be a blessing, not only to others, but also to yourself.
And/or finally, challenge yourself to grow in your own faith this summer. Not sure how to start? The good news, is that it’s pretty simple. To have a relationship with Jesus, all you have to do is believe in what He’s done for you and ask Him to be a part of your life. That’s where it all starts. From there, you can add all sorts of things to help your faith grow. Read the Bible. Talk to God. Check out a church family. Any of these will help you on this incredible journey of faith.
And once you’ve done this, find a way to share it. Social Media is great for this. You can share it to Michael’s Facebook or Instagram pages, or even connect it to this post and I will make sure it gets to him. If you’re social media savvy, hashtag #4michaeleinfeldt and this is another way we can get it into a location so that we can make sure that Michael and his family can see the ways we are loving and supporting them this summer. I would actually love to make another book for Michael of this new challenge. So if you want, share your story or pictures with me and I will make sure they get put into a book that we can show Michael.
I’m really praying that this will be another way that we can show love and support to Michael and his family. Over 22,000 people read about Michael’s accident in the very first post I shared about him. And thousands of others have followed his story in the months that would come. That being said, I’d love for everyone to join us on this new challenge and hope that you will be able to take time to try it and to share it in the summer months to come.