Monday, May 26, 2008

Pondering Life Without Him

My neighbor died last Wednesday. Not unexpected as he had been fighting a brain tumor for 15 months. The memorial service was yesterday and it left me hollow. Not surprising knowing my neighbor didn't know the Lord. The grief of that for me is deep, so very deep....

It has been a long time since I have attended a memorial service in which the Lord was not the focus. I sat in an auditorium filled mostly with men. Architects, Engineers, City Planners. Affluent, academically arrogant and morally indifferent. My neighbor was one of the top men in his field worldwide - city and regional planning. You would never have known that in meeting him. He was as humble and real as they come. A true Renaissance man. Smart, bright, warm, loving, caring. In love with life. I wish he had been in love with the Lord.

I listened to speaker after speaker talk about his humanity, honesty, warmth of spirit, joy in living, love of his wife. One person described him this way, "He was exquisitely expressive and wonderfully restrained." Another said, "He reflected purity in others." Oh how much more meaning those words would have if he knew the creator of all those attributes.

I kept asking myself 'I wonder how many of these people (approx 400) know the Lord?' 'How do you reach men (not my calling, I love on the women) who are so lost and blinded by satan's lies that they believe in their self glorification? The lack of hope in the room was oppressive, yet it was in stark contrast to the love and connection with my neighbor and the life he lead.

His wife is an amazing women. And no, she doesn't know the Lord. Pray for her. She has amazed me these past 15 months. She took care of every detail of life, stepped away from her profession, was a 'stay at home' wife, never complained, whined or whimpered. Faced the reality of death with courage and strength that only comes from the Lord. Oh how I wish she knew that. She is now left to walk on without her life partner of 30 years. She and I seem to end up talking out on the sidewalk, looking to the big sky to our west. I remember the day she and her husband unexpectedly arrived home from oversees 15 months ago. She looked at me and the tears started flowing down her face - the prognosis was not good. She and I ended up on that same sidewalk last week. He was taking his last few breaths and she was creating as much 'good-bye' time for family and friends as possible while tending to his minute needs. No tears this time - just the bitter reality of death and trying to justify it with a life lived.

"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Rev. 22:12-13

Don't let opportunity to share Him pass day all will give an account and may it be for His glory.

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