Stephen Reed died this last week. You might not know who he was. I didn’t know him well - I only knew Stephen through a friend and by observing him pursue his passions. But for some reason his death has spurred in me the need to get some thoughts down on paper.
The things is, I didn’t know a lot about Stephen, but I knew this much: Stephen was rare. Every time I saw him or interacted with him, what I experienced can be described as passion, or enthusiasm…or a high vibration. Higher than most. He was one of the rare lights in the universe that didn’t seem to see obstacles where must of us do.
I have so many conversations these days with people about this question of how we achieve the life we want and find freedom and peace and joy – the essence of God in this world and in us. And Stephen was the kind of person that was the embodiment of an answer to that question. If someone were to ask me, “How do I find out what I was put here for?” and Stephen were standing there, I would just point at him and say, “That’s how.” He was the embodiment or spiritual equivalent of “Beast Mode.” In other words, there were few things that could stop him.
And now I, and those of us who were privileged to have met Stephen and been in his presence, if even for a brief moment, have to wrestle with the dissonance that we feel. Stephen could be stopped. And so can we. And I never had the chance to learn more from Stephen. And it doesn’t make any sense. I’m mad at myself for not having grabbed a coffee with him. I feel robbed for some reason…and that’s confusing to me because I didn’t know him that well.
Anyone who’s read my book knows I am a fan of the Green Lantern universe, so I will quote from the film: “A great light has gone out in the universe.” And it seems to me the only true way to honor Stephen’s life is for each of us to ask this question: What is stopping me from living out my passions? Perhaps Stephen now takes his place as an angel meant to guide each of us to real transformation. That thought is comforting to me, whether it is the reality or not. So I will adopt it and hold that Stephen’s light still lives on within each of us that has the courage to pursue our dreams and leave the world a better place than the way we found it. Just like Stephen did.
If you want to help Stephen’s family shoulder the burdens of this loss, you can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/nz4rnuz4