Thirteen Days

Thirteen days ago, life was different.

A family of four who are friends of ours were in a serious automobile accident on Thanksgiving weekend. I sat with them in the hospital. I saw young women pray and an old man weep. A friend bought Starbucks. The father is still in a coma. I pray for them every day.

A friend down the street, not much older than I, checked into the hospital with a mild stroke and things went horribly wrong. I prayed over him as the ventilator hissed and clicked by his side. He looked peaceful, like he was sleeping on the couch after watching a game. He looked like a husband. He looked like a daddy. The next morning they turned off the machine, and he died. I was sad and I was angry and I remembered that I’ve never answered for myself the hard ontological questions concerning where, and in what structure, the life to which we assign a name and come to know and love truly dwells.

At the school by our house is a beautiful little girl who is sick. She is six years old. She has cancer. It is in her brain. It is inoperable. It seems a tragedy beyond words that “two weeks until Christmas” should be a race against time.

I preached for the inaugural service of a local church. I said that to fail in the gospel of Christ is not to fail from a lack of correct doctrinal knowledge, but to fail from a lack of love. I said I hoped the new church would look outward toward the community, not inward toward itself. I preached on the necessity of compassion. I wanted to speak well. It was important to me. In the end, I don’t know if I was the right person for the job.

This week was finals week; I finished coursework on Wednesday evening. Last night I was awarded Search and Rescue Member of the Year at the annual dinner. I know others deserved it more than I. My wife looked gorgeous in red. We went home, put the kids to bed, and fell asleep together.

Love is the only thing that lasts. It is the only thing that is real. Today is all we have.

Thirteen days ago, life was different.

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2 Responses

  1. Natasha says:

    The fragility of life never ceases to amaze me.<br /><br />(((hug)))

  2. A.Lee says:

    I know; same here. thanks for the hug.

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