Friday, February 03, 2006

We can all learn from Lewis Ward

The world is an emptier place today. My small world is a sadder place. A strong and brave man has passed away. At 33 years of age it seems unfair. Cancer is a thief that knows no boundaries. It stole a loving husband, devoted father, loyal friend and selfless servant. He spent the greater part of his life helping others, often at great risk to himself. He fought courageously until the very end. He fought hard. He fought when others had given up. He fought knowing the odds. He fought, not for a full rich life, but for one more day. Then the next day he'd fight for another. Nothing was guaranteed... Not a year, not a month. He lived each day, thankful for it.

It's very much how God wants us all to live. Is tomorrow really guaranteed for any of us? He teaches us to pray for him to "give us this day our daily bread" not tomorrow's. Many people die suddenly and tragically but Lewis knew his time was near. Was it misfortune, or was it a blessing? When he'd drawn his last breath, no one he loved had to wonder. They all knew because he told them. It doesn't make it any easier for those he left behind. There will still be grief, but there is also closure. Life is finite, but love is infinite, and those who knew and loved him can cry with a deep rooted hope that one day they will see his face again. His face will be without pain or sorrow and will glow with the coutenance of dwelling in the very presence of the living God. Until then, they know his love for them was strong because he left no loose ends.

Do you have loose ends? If you knew tomorrow to be your last day, how would you spend it? What would you do? What would you say? Who would you visit? Who would you call to make sure they knew you loved them? Who would you forgive? From whom would you ask forgiveness? Would that day be spent busy with the tying of loose ends? Or would it be spent peacefully because you've no loose ends to tie?

We all have an appointment with death. None of us know the day or hour this life will end. If everyday of the rest of your life were spent like it were your last, and you lived another 60 years, how much richer and more full would that life be?