I sat at the table with my family and gazed around the room. Some faces were happy as they remembered my dear cousin. Some faces were pale, with red tired eyes, as they held their tears in just trying to get through the rest of the afternoon. I walked over to the collage filled with tons of pictures of smiling faces and happy family members. My heart sunk as I turned my attention back to the room. This was somewhere she should be at, but she wasn’t, and we were here because she would never be at another family event.
I stared at her pictures wishing I had gone to the bridal shower just a month before her passing, or the birthday party before that, because I was going to miss her. In fact, I was having a hard time remembering the last time I saw her. I drove home that day contemplating everyone in my life and how our last interaction went. What if the last time I saw them was the last time I ever saw them?
We never know when we’re going to see someone for the last time. I don’t only mean death, but we lose touch with people all the time. People move away, or the busyness of life takes people away, or we just simply never see someone again. We truly never know when we will see someone for the last time.
My hope is that we learn to stop taking people for granted and make our encounters with people count. Even with complete strangers. Humans are beautiful and full of value, and it doesn’t take a whole lot to show someone love.
So I pray that we learn to love everyone, remembering that love does not require feelings, but action. We love the people who already have a special place in our hearts, but we also have the ability to love the people who don’t.
May we recognize the need we have for love and love everyone with everything we have, so if it’s the last time we see them, we gave them one of the greatest gifts we could have ever given them. We gave them love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NIV