Leslie kept me company through the difficulties in my life over the past few years. Both through the pandemic, in parenting my young kids through it and helping them have connection and community (her story readings online were especially wonderful), in navigating the heartbreak of leaving the church I grew up in, in our shared work in The Cultivating Project, and our shared love of Van Gogh.
She was honest about the ups and downs of her illness, but also actively gave comfort outwards to others. She did not belittle our burdens which were in many ways small compared to the enormity of her own, but rather it seems she exemplified 2 Corinthians 1:4, taking the comfort she received from God in her need, and then passed that comfort on to so, so, so many others. The light in her eyes that I could only witness on Zoom was none the less infectious and a testimony to the ‘light and high beauty’ that is forever beyond the reach of the darkness we find ourselves in.
But perhaps the highest compliment I can give someone is more than deserving of Leslie – she helped me love Jesus more. Her life mattered, it made a difference, and I’m so thankful for her presence in my life.
Leslie, though we spoke many times through Facebook and Zoom, I look forward to meeting you in person for the first time in the place where faith is made sight and all the sad things have come untrue. We who remain are made more who God is making us to be because you were who He made you to be.
Thanks for being you.
With gratitude and love,
This tribute by Adam R. Nettesheim is part of an “In Memoriam” series we are running this week for our dear friend Leslie Anne Bustard.
The featured image, “Lake District Stone Wall,” is courtesy of Lancia E. Smith and used with her glad permission for Cultivating.
Adam wanders through the arts as a vagabond. Though he “still hasn’t found what he’s looking for” he seeks to pull on the golden thread that has been woven through our stories, trusting that it leads Home to the Author of our souls. Adam and his wife Sarah have 3 children and live in Northern Colorado. His writings (and a few other things) can be found at his website.
A Field Guide to Cultivating ~ Essentials to Cultivating a Whole Life, Rooted in Christ, and Flourishing in Fellowship
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