Since my darling boyfriend and I started dating, our relationship has mainly consisted of church, weddings, pizza, movies, KITTENS, So You Think You Can Dance, chipwiches and cupcakes, and most importantly, watching our way through How I Met Your Mother. (Obviously, we have the most epic relationship. That's not sarcasm. Seriously.) For those of you that avidly watch HIMYM, maybe you can recall the episode where Marshall's health insurance runs out for a few days, and he realizes how "death is all around." Now, we can't go about living our lives in constant fear of death, because technically any action we make could kill us in some freak accident. (Just watch the "so many dumb ways to die" video on YouTube if you don't believe me.) But maybe we let Death off the hook a little too easily.
The other evening, said epic boyfriend and I were discussing how desensitized we've become to death. See a guy get blown to bits in the latest action flick, no big deal. Five American soldiers are killed in Iraq by a car bomber. That sucks. But that's overseas, doesn't really affect me. A friend's grandfather dies of a long, hard battle with cancer. Didn't really know him, but sorry for your loss. In ten minutes time, I've forgotten about it and I'm on with my life. Only when something extremely tragic happens does it really hit me with a pang in the gut.
At my church, we've recently started a sermon series on Ecclesiastes. And if Ecclesiastes does anything, it reminds you just how quickly life goes by. And not only does it go by quickly, but at some point it's going to end. For everyone.
I'm blessed to say that I've yet to lose anyone that I'm emotionally close to. But these past two years have been hard, because a lot of my friends haven't been as fortunate. No way is more tragic than the other, no wound in my friends' hearts is bleeding any more than the rest. Knowing these wonderful people that we've lost and talking to my friends in their grief, I'd say at the end of someone else's life is when we regret the things we didn't do rather than the things we did.
The purpose of this blog isn't to remind everyone to tell the people you care about you love them more often. I know that all of us know that. (But go do it right now, anyway.) This blog is a reminder, maybe even a realization, of the urgency with which we need to show love to those we do know, but especially to those we don't know so well.
Many times a really serious prayer request will pop up during bible study and the lot of us will be shocked because we had no idea this was even happening. A co-worker will be hiding out in the break room crying because some real serious shiz is going down in their lives, and we'll simply freeze and walk right back out, pretending we didn't see anything. Take the time to get to know the people in your life. Take the time to love the people in your life.
And for those of you who call yourself followers of Christ, don't hesitate to proclaim him. Don't wait to invite your neighbor to church, to grab a coffee with your co-worker and ask them about what they believe, to encourage the lady behind you in the grocery line when you overhear her complaining about her deadbeat husband.
In that expanse of time between birth and death, however short that might be, we'll always need each other. But more importantly, we'll always need Christ in a way that "each other" can't fill. And far too many people don't even know Him.
We might be the only gospel standing between someone and eternity. Even if it's simply playing it like a wing-man, tapping that stranger on the shoulder and saying, "Hey, have you met my friend, Jesus?"
The number one complaint I hear from my friends and family and even out of my own mouth is that there aren't enough hours in a day to get everything we need to done. Figure out what's important. And make time for it. I can promise you won't regret giving up your morning coffee to go pick up a coworker who's car is in the shop, or leaving a really busy waitress a really nice tip.
Because every second of every day, Jesus does more than just make time for us. He pours out mercy, love, forgiveness, and grace on us, despite how much we suck and how horrendously selfish we are.
I don't know about you guys, but that's something I don't want to keep to myself.