Recently, I attended a memorial service for a sweet sixteen year old who was in a horrific car accident. While I’d only interacted with this girl a handful of times, I knew her parents. It was heartbreaking to watch the video put together by one of her besties portraying her friend’s short life through pictures. The testimonies shared by two of her coaches as well as 6+ of her classmates. It was allot to take in. The community honored this sweet sixteen darling in huge ways, showing their love and support to this dear family. Even more, was the fact that her death, along with two others within our county were all killed in car accidents, all sweet sixteen, within 2 weeks. Heart wrenching for sure. I cannot imagine the deep hurt, the loss, the questions, the why’s and what if’s of it all.
What impacted me most of all, however, was when this girl’s father, who’d just lost his daughter days prior, chose to speak at her service. To witness a loving father share about his only daughter’s short life was moving and thought-provoking. He shared that he, along with his wife, had lost sight for awhile of what really matters. He spoke of their desire for not only having a nice home, working hard to achieve nice flower beds and a nice yard, wanting the right carpet and floors, furniture and decor. He then said, all of a sudden, none of that stuff matters anymore. What he shared next was really inspirational: he said that when we’re so busy keeping up with and striving to have all the right stuff in this life, we won’t have the time to focus on family, which is all that really matters.
Of course, it isn’t a crime to want nice things in this life. That wasn’t the point. Rather, it was the temporary loss of focus of what really matters in this life. Not meaning to sound morbid, none of us is promised another minute, hour, or day. My takeaway from this former Sunday school teacher of mine and his tragic loss, is what are we doing with the time we’re given? Are we being kind and loving? Are we selfless? Are we making a difference? Are we intentional in our relationships?
Lastly, this Daddy shared in the midst of emotion, that his daughter’s best friend came to him and said she knew that her friend had accepted Christ and been baptized, securing her a place in heaven. She shared that she wanted desperately to see her friend again. This Daddy and his wife shared how she could be sure she’d spend eternity with Jesus, in heaven, with her dear friend, leading her to salvation in Jesus. It didn’t end there! She brought several boys from their school who also wanted to know how they could know Jesus and live eternally with him after their life here on earth is through. A couple of them also prayed to receive Christ. All 3 will be baptized as a testimony of what transpired within their hearts. This Daddy shared that his daughter’s life wasn’t in vain. Although he desperately misses her and the daily texts he sent to her, “good morning, beautiful,” he knows that others’ lives were touched and impacted through her short life not only this side of heaven, but for eternity.
Let’s live our lives well. Be intentional. Love well. Risk sharing your heart as well as your faith. Smile. Don’t be judgemental. Give of yourself. Look for the good in others. Be selfless. Invest in others.