A Man at My Church Died
Most of my posts are meant for a targeted audience. They may be for Christians who are transgender because of my own experience or they may be for evangelical Christians. Often I get public or private replies from people telling me they are so sorry for “what I’ve gone through”, even though it really wasn’t about me.
But today was a day of struggle for me, and so I’ll admit—that this post is about me, or at least what I feel.
A man at my church died on Monday.
He had a wife and six kids.
I didn’t know him personally. There’s a chance I may have met him in one of those “say hello to people around you” moments common in many churches, but I can’t be sure. That feeling of loss, that feeling that part of life that had been stitched into your heart had just been torn out wasn’t there for me.
One thing that struck me at today’s memorial for him was the kids, now left without a father. Whatever the last time they spoke with him, they didn’t know that THAT was their last opportunity to let him know that they loved him, that they needed him, that he was everything to them. And the same for his wife, there was no “say it now because you don’t get another chance” opportunity.
So today, people from his past who knew him from college, people who knew him in business and people who knew him from church all got up to share their memories of him. None of them knew that the last time they talked with him, would be the LAST TIME they would talk with him.
I could go on and on for paragraphs, but I’ll try to get to my point. If you have a son, a daughter, a mother, a father, even a good friend, your next conversation with them could very well be your last. That kiss goodbye to say “have a good day at school” or “have a good day at work” might be the final words you tell them. Don’t let it pass without them knowing that you LOVE them.
I haven’t seen my parents in almost 27 years, mainly because they don’t want to “see” me (in fact they’ve never seen me physically as their daughter, Laurie). I also haven’t spoken with them over the phone for most of that time.
Even though both of my parents are still alive (as far as I know), I can’t help thinking about that sad day when there will be a memorial service for one of them.
I thought about how I might never get to tell my father face-to-face that I still love him. And the same for my mother, how much I love her.
I thought about when that funeral day comes, how I will not even be welcomed by my own family, my grieving parent nor my two brothers, and how if I’m lucky enough to even find out about it, that I’ll have to sit in the back of the service just not to be a disruption, because the service is not about me (or the fact that I’m there) and not even let my family members know I was there.
Embrace your family! If you’re blessed with the opportunity to embrace them every day, then tell them you LOVE them every day. Don’t let it become wrote. Don’t let it become words. Find NEW ways to keep reminding them. I’m going to live this lesson myself with someone I’m going to talk to on Monday and talk to twice a week, my Bible study partner and mentor, and I don’t ever want her to think my words are said out of wrote.
Even if your family won’t return your desire for communication, don’t let that stop you from trying. You won’t have to regret trying if you actually try. You just have to be willing to accept the response, or the lack of it—but that’s not on you. Reach out, be loving. BE the image of Christ, the rest is out of your control.
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