We had a weekend that spanned both ends of the spectrum.
One of my closest friends lost his brother to cancer a few days ago.
He left behind 3 children.
Our dear friends called Saturday morning to tell us their mother passed away.
I was in disbelief.
It wasn't long before I started to think of losing my own mother and
I'm just not ready to begin this next phase of life where our parents are getting older and some are stepping into eternity.
I know this world is not our home, but young or old, it just seems like it happens too soon.
Saturday was spent playing with our friends' children while they went to be with family and make preparations.
The children spent hours on end creating these bracelets.
Oh that crazy Rainbow Loom!
Sunday was spent on the other end of the spectrum of grief. We celebrated our dear friends retirement from over 4 decades in full time pastoral ministry.
It was incredible to see a sanctuary packed with colleagues, friends and believers from the many churches Dave and Nancy Worth served in over the years.
It was even more incredible to hear many of these people share about how Dave and Nancy had blessed, changed and encouraged their lives through the years.
Nancy said, "You usually don't get to hear all these nice things because they are spoken at your funeral!" She was grateful that she was alive to hear all the affirmation.
I laughed, then my heart sunk as I thought about our other friends, preparing to say incredible, nice words over their mother as she is laid to rest.
Life and death are so closely tied together.
We try to separate them.
We try to remove one from the other.
We would rather stare one in the face and run and hide from the other.
But no matter how hard we try, we cannot have life without death.
And if we want to know true life, abundant, rich, full life, we must die to ourselves.
Death is part of life.
Life is part of death.
I'm grateful for the hope and promise God has given us.
Death does not have the final word!
And while we have the opportunity to speak words, let's share with those around us how special they are and how much we love them.