Suddenness

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

 

                                                            James 4:13-14

 

I used to work with a gentleman by the name of Brian who was very involved in the technical architecture of the systems we used to develop the experiences we designed for our members. It turns out we graduated high school in the same class and are just three weeks apart in age; we didn’t know each other until we met at work, though, some 22 years after high school. A small group of us bonded quickly, team members thrust together in a dynamic organizational shift.

Brian was always a very precise but lovable person, with a quick smile and an even quicker explanation for things. When I was in a meeting, he would always preface a heavy technical discussion with a “sorry, but this is going to get technical”, almost out of deference to my non-technical non-expertise. Brian was a private person and while he did share some family stuff, what he shared was positive and high level.

 He and his family went to Disney World over Spring break, and since he was tagged in a number of the photos that his wife posted to Facebook, I and all of his friends got to see Brian, his wife, their college age daughter, and high school age son enjoying all that Disney World had to offer. They seemed to be having a wonderful time at the happiest place on Earth, and I was happy for them.

 I found out Sunday afternoon from a mutual friend of ours that Brian’s wife passed away Friday (the last day of Spring break, the day before they were supposed to fly home). Apparently she had a heart condition and had not been feeling 100% the week before the vacation, but her cardiologist cleared her for travel. As evidenced by the pictures, she seemed to be doing fine. She was checking them in to get their boarding passes while Brian and the kids went to the park, and when they returned, they found her slumped over the computer. They attempted to revive her with a defibrillator and she was taken by ambulance but did not survive.

Sadness and tears overcame me when I read the news about what happened on Facebook Messenger (our friend created a group of coworkers to share the news). I just couldn’t imagine what he was going through, having just returned the previous night with one fourth of his family missing, awaiting to hear the autopsy results. Brian had lost his mother a couple of years back and struggled with it. I tried to witness to him a couple of times during that time, and he did not seem very receptive to it. Somewhat daunted, I stepped back and let him be, not wishing to offend. I now wish I’d stayed committed to praying for him, in hopes that he’d have a relationship with the living Christ, and would be able to rely on Him during this difficult time. No, I am not beating myself up, as I believe that his “Eureka! love moment” will come when it is supposed to come, whether I had a direct hand in it or not. I just have that tinge of regret for not having stuck with the prayers. Fortunately, in God’s great timing and master plan, it isn’t too late for me to pray for him, and pray for him I am, and his children and friends and family for their monumental loss.

 Friends, I know it’s cliché, but it’s true: life is short, and it’s precious, and none of us knows what’s going to happen from one day to the next. Earthly tomorrows are promised to no one. Let us show His love to one another, let us be of one accord in His body, and let us share the good news with as many as He calls us to.

 

Prayer Requests

  • For those who are mourning the loss of loved ones, whether that loss was sudden or prolonged
  • For society’s abandoned ones—the homeless, the neglected, the poor
  • For wisdom and grace to permeate our relationships with each other
  • Praise for His mercies that are new every morning!
  • For a successful turnout of new and current folks to our 25 year anniversary celebration!

                                                                                                                       

I pray that you never experience regret at the passing of a loved one, with either things done said that you wish you could take back, or things left unsaid or undone. If you do have regret, please don’t carry that burden. Give it to the one who laid down His life for you—you aren’t meant to hold on to it.

 

Quotes

“God always allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of His.” – C.S. Lewis

 

“Life isn’t about finding yourself; it’s about discovering who God created you to be.”