In October, premature twin boys were born to some of our friends. These babies were not expected to live but after surgeries and a lot of intervention, they have now turned seven-months-old and are doing wonderfully! In the past month and a half, I have been to one 80th birthday celebration and to two funerals (one of a thought-to-be-healthy seven-week-old infant and one of a 19-year-old girl). In a few weeks, my grandmother will turn 101 years old.
My church just moved into its first official building after spending several years of moving around from schools to movie theaters. We kicked off the move-in with our first women’s event. We called it Laughter & Lattes. A night of worship and games and laughter was enjoyed by all who came. Many made the commitment to work together and live in community with one another. Soon after the event, a lady in our church lost her brother to his year-long battle with cancer. We came together as a church body and loved on them with food, phone calls, cards, and time spent with them encouraging them.
One thing is for certain: we are never guaranteed another day on this earth.
Another thing is for certain: sometimes we live longer than we can ever imagine possible.
When someone can live to be 80 or even 101 years old and yet an infant dies and a young girl with her whole life ahead of her passes suddenly from an asthma attack, yet an older gentleman wastes away for a year with cancer, your mind ponders a lot of things. It begins to ask what the purpose is of life. What can I do to make the most of mine while I am here on this earth—whether it is seven weeks or 101 years? Why have I waited so long to begin this quest?
A third thing is now clear to me: Death and life do not make sense without God.
When I came home from the funeral of the 19-year-old, (who was my son’s friend and the daughter of my husband’s fishing buddy) I hugged my son. I told him how much I love him. This is kind of big around our house because he’s not a touchy-feely kind of person. To my satisfaction, I discovered he didn’t seem to mind this expression of my love for him. You see, this past year, on top of the death of his friend, one of his best friends lost his mother suddenly, and his worship pastor, whom he worked directly under at church, was killed tragically. My son has learned something at a young age: Life is too short not to take advantage of every opportunity you have to let others know how much you love them.
I have never been very good at this. And I’ve especially never been very good at showing my thankfulness to others for things they have done for me or my sympathy for their current situation by sending cards, tokens, letters, hugs, smiles, and meals their way. But I am getting better at it because I realize how quickly life passes before our eyes and how we are never guaranteed to have another day with someone we love. In August, it will be twenty years since my mother passed away suddenly. It has been four years since we almost lost our daughter in a car accident. Since the first of the year, my husband has been very ill and we have just recently gotten the diagnosis—sleep apnea. Praise the Lord it did not end his life as it ended my mother’s and the mother of my son’s friend.
God has ordained our days (Psalm 139:16). He knows us from the womb (Psalm 139:13). He created all life (Genesis 1). He has a purpose for us (Jeremiah 29:11). He desires for us to love one another and to lead others closer to Him (Romans 12:10). That is the purpose of life. Regardless of what your individual purpose is—to be a wife and mother, writer, musician, artist, accountant, deacon, preacher, gardener or TV anchorperson—the main purpose is to love God and love His people. To bring everyone together in community and to Him.
Our days are drawing to an end on this earth. Eventually we all will pass on or at least we’ll expire when Jesus returns. Make it a habit to let everyone know how special they are to you.
My grandmother: http://www.kaylajohnsonphotography.com/
Sky with heart: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/708892
~Written by Sherri