Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Brush with Death

I was recently shocked to hear of a man I knew who had passed away.  Oh, I guess I didn't really know him well, but well enough to do a double take when I saw his picture and funeral announcement on the evening news.  He was fairly prominent in the community.

That night I couldn't sleep.  I kept thinking about this man's wife and his two daughters.  I felt like I spent most of the night praying for them.  I couldn't believe he was gone.  I don't even know if he was a believer or not, but I hope so.

His daughter, Haley, was in Heather's kindergarten and first grade class.  They were friends.  That is how I got to know the family.  When we dropped out of the public school system and began homeschooling we lost contact with them.  Later, when our daughters were in fifth grade he helped coach the girl's basketball team where we picked up the friendship once again.

Haley graduated with Heather from the same school.  When I heard Haley's name announced I remembered the friendship we had years ago.  She was at my daughter's birthday parties and Valentine's Tea where the kids played and the moms visited.  Sweet times. 

He was chief of police and just last year my husband talked with him at length as an issue broke out across the street from where we live.  They remembered each other.

And now he has entered eternity.  Three life contacts we've had with this family and we had no idea how important those contacts might have been.  When we brush across people's lives, we never know how close they are to eternity, nor us.  It chills me to think that maybe our paths crossed for a reason, maybe it was so we might have helped prepare this man for eternity.  I don't know.

But it does make me consider a little more carefully what I am doing about the people I run into each day.  How am I sharing Christ with them?  How crucial is it that I do so?  I don't mean that I have to cram the Bible down their throats, but gently share Jesus with them.

My heart continues to burn with an urgency to tell others of the great salvation offered to all who will receive it.  Today I saw my neighbor next door.  And I can't help but think, why have I not yet shared the gospel with her?  What am I doing with my life that I'm too busy to concern myself with neighbors? 

The girl across the alley stopped by the other day to sell me some Girl Scout cookies.  And like a total tight wad I didn't buy any cookies.  What's a few calories and a few dollars if it would have meant a conversation with her?  The reasoning for what and why I do things is all messed up sometimes.

God, help me to recognize opportunities when they come.  May I always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in me.  I cannot put it off until my house is clean or until I am not busy or until I've worked up a fine little speech.  What am I doing messing around with trivial agendas?  God, have mercy on me!  We are not here to control or condemn people, but to love them.  To show and tell them of your great salvation.  That is my heart's desire. 

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