Recently one of my dear friends died of cancer. She fought a good fight all the way to the end and never wavered in her faith. I have peace and I rejoice that she is no longer suffering or struggling to even breathe each breath, but at the same time I’m sad. I am so very sad. I’ve experienced the loss of lives- coworkers, family members, even my own mother. But the death of a friend is....different. Friends, unlike family and coworkers, are chosen. These are people who have shared a different kind of space in your life. For me friends, real friends, have been hard to find so I have very few of them. Of all of the people in the world, friends are the people who make a choice to like you and to love you. And you reciprocate not out of the “obligation” of a blood bond, but because of a true genuine choice.
I remember our last time together, it is firmly imprinted in my mind and my heart; when I left her presence I did not know that it would be the last time seeing her or hearing her voice.
On my first day back at work after her death, I was sitting on the train during my commute looking at people on their phones and shutting out the world with their headphones (just as I do!) never even once looking up to see who is sharing the train with them. I’m looking at each of them wondering do they ever think about the frailty of their life or their loved ones lives? Are we living the life God has created for us to live? Or just going through motions with no real thought of the delicate nature of our lives? Are we “maximizing our moments”? I know that I’m not.
So teach us to number our days, that we may get us a heart of wisdom. Psalms 90:12
How would that last visit to see my beautiful friend have been different if I treated it like the last time I would see her on this side of eternity? How would I have been a better more attentive friend if a month ago I knew she would only be here for another month? After hearing the news of her death I called my sister just to hear her voice. I called one of my friends and a close family member to just see what they were doing. I made it a point to tell them I loved them. Is that enough? Is it ever enough? How do we love people the way God wants us to love?
We need a heart of wisdom to live and love the way God wants us to live and love. I know I need Him to show me how to love people, including myself, the way He wants me to love. If I treat the days as though they are numbered and seek God for the wisdom of heart required to truly maximize this limited life then I believe I will not miss those moments...I will maximize them.