I caught up with an old friend this morning, as much as two folks could catch up in text messages, anyway.
It’s always the same, we are both busy. Later this afternoon, I thought of things I forgot to mention. But I didn’t follow up, rationalizing and reasoning, he’s busy. I’m busy. We will catch up next time. And we will, if there is a next time.
I never realized I was aging until I was confronted with struggles like illness and death. In my mind’s eye, I still see my friends and family just as they were when I last enjoyed their company. In most cases, I feel I don’t miss much, they are still the same when I see them again. Or when I text again.
Maybe I’ve finally matured enough to recognize just how fragile earthly life truly is. My days are numbered. So are yours. I personally do not want to know the number of my days, just as I don’t want to know how many hugs my son has left to give. I just don’t want to know.
I can’t imagine opening my front door, or answering my phone, to be told my son isn’t coming home, that he has lost his life. But three families in my tiny community are walking through that pain tonight.
I can’t bear the possibility that my sweet niece could come home from school to find an empty vest, without her daddy in it. But there is one badge being polished tonight, to be placed, one last time, on the chest of a man who has dedicated his entire adult life to public service.
I never want to stand by my mama’s bedside, praying for her to be released from her pain, and feeling immense guilt for also wanting more time to make sure she knows I love her. But that’s where my dear friend finds herself, conflicted in both grief and praise.
I find comfort in knowing that Heaven is five souls up tonight. I pray, not for the passed, because they are now whole and new, but for those left to grieve them- that their hearts won’t be hardened.
I believe when God calls home young people of faith, seemingly before their time, He is actually sowing seeds planted within the environment of the youth that will some day bear fruit among those that remain.
At the very core of those called to protect and serve lies unshakable faith. Without faith, our heroes would crumble under the weight of so much devastation. Their faith becomes their triumph. The law enforcement community will come together and prop up their own. They always do.
And eventually, I know my friend will look down and see a familiar light in her sweet baby’s gaze. She will share stories of her mom, and she will come to understand there was never a wasted moment. Warm memories of her mom will be with her through all her numbered days. They will meet again when those days are done.
There’s never a time limit on grief. No matter how many words I write, I can never bring peace to those without their hearts tonight. But Christ can. Christ can, and Christ will.
For my part, I will hug my own son a little closer, and I will call my mama while I still can. None of us are guaranteed another day of earthly life. Our days here are numbered, but our days in Heaven are not. And that’s really all I need to know.
Be blessed, Y’all.
~I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me on that day.~
~ 2 Timothy 4:7,8 ~