Today, I received a sad text from a friend who informed me that a former co-worker had suddenly passed away. This person was special in every way. We kept in touch over the years and enjoyed many fun and lively conversations together, many of them about Jesus. His death leaves a hole in my heart and I will miss him tremendously. What saddens me is that I never had the chance to say goodbye.
As I relived our work adventures together and the fun we had, I began to ponder just how fragile our lives are. Sure, we all think of life as being a gift, but do we really slow down long enough to appreciate it? In all the hustle and bustle in our daily lives, do we take the time to reach out to those we love, to share a kind word, to say, “I love you?” And to do so, heaven forbid, before it’s too late.
I confess I’m not very good at this. I always tell my family I love them, but don’t typically do this with friends. My wife Diane, on the other hand, is highly adept at telling friends, and yes, even co-workers—that she loves them. She has a genuine heart for people and understands what it means to love one another as Jesus instructed; “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34, 35 NIV)
People gravitated to Jesus because He loved them without condition or strings attached. The same holds true for my wife. I’ve watched her turn hearts of stone to hearts of love and forgiveness. I’ve witnessed her repeatedly telling people she loves them, whether in person or while talking on the phone. She gets it. She understands Jesus’s love for us. In our sinful state, we don’t deserve our Savior’s love and sacrifice, but He freely gives it anyway.
I would have loved to be given the opportunity to chat with my friend Tim one last time. I fully expected I’d be given the chance. But that did not happen. My chance was gone—forever.
What I need to do now, is take a hard look at how my wife lives her life. She never wastes a chance to show Jesus’s love to others, to provide a listening ear, to offer a hug of support to a hurting world. I marvel at her ability to care for people from the depths of her heart—just as Jesus taught. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)
So, before it’s too late my friend—go tell somebody you love them. Don’t let the sun go down with the assumption that you can do it tomorrow. Today is all we have.