I’ll be honest. I was going to write on a completely different subject for this post. Yet, circumstances have led me to write what is on my heart.
Two weeks ago this Thursday my aunt passed away. On Saturday, we went to her memorial. She was the oldest of six children, had received her Master’s Degree, and traveled extensively. Yet, those were not the things we focused on. Instead, what mattered was what she did for others. She was not a woman to openly tell you what she was going to do. She heard what you needed and then made plans to help you get there.
As I sat listening to the stories people told us, what they remembered the most was the mark she left on others’ lives. She loved educating people so instead of a traditional funeral, she started a scholarship fund for those who wanted to have a higher education.
I had a few regrets while I listened: why didn’t I try to get to know her better? What kept me from drawing closer to her? Would it have hurt to do more to cement the relationship in my adulthood as it was in my youth? Would it have killed me to pick up the phone more often? Why did it take Death to open my eyes about how precious these relationships are?
A good thing that came from this event was that I reunited with my grandfather. I had not seen him in years. He’s ninety now and had some difficulty remembering our names but he was as spry as you can expect. We took pictures with him and we will be making sure to see him more often. I had to ask myself: what am I doing that is so important that I can’t see him more often?
My mind draws a blank.
Yesterday, Christians all over the world celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Our God is not dead but alive. He reigns forever. The regrets were swallowed up by the glaring truth: I will see her again. We will have all eternity to get to know each other once more. As the apostle Paul said, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? In Christ, Death is defeated.
And isn’t that just the best thing ever?
My call from the heart is this: if you have fallen out of communication with loved ones, please pick up the phone, write an email, text them, or just run by their house. Say hello. Hug them. If you’ve broken apart because of a disagreement, reconcile your differences. Life is too short to stay angry for a day, much less months or years. Hug often and thank God for the privilege of seeing and hearing from each other. Although we have victory in Jesus over Death, we still have to fight with the hurt we can see them on this side of glory.
Most importantly please remember this: only what you do for Christ will last even after death.