Reminded Again To Make Our Tent-Time Count

November 17, 2014

My husband and I, and my parents, went to the hospital today to visit Jean, an 81 year old woman who was a missionary in the Philippines at the same time as my parents. She is in hospice care there and not expected to live much longer, but she still had her good sense of humor. It was cute to watch my dad and her joke together, and a blessing to later witness him bend over her bedside, and putting his forehead on hers, pray a very tender-loving prayer for his sister in Christ.

I thought it precious, too, how my mom thanked Jean for all the sewing she had done for the mission community, mentioning several specific outfits Jean had made or mended for her, one of those being just two weeks ago. I smile even now in gratefulness and awe at how God has helped so many of His willing, eager servants continue ministering into old age. Last year Jean had been dying, but had made a surprise come-back, even going back to her sewing job at the mission center.

Driving back home from the hospital, I looked at the blue sky and the color-changing leaves on the trees a little differently. I tried to think of my loved ones and other people differently. I tried to appreciate everything. The small things –that are really the biggest things, in a way. The pretty leaves –it means I have sight. The seatbelt across my body –it reminds me that I have a car, that I can sit up, that I walked to the car, that I can walk, that I have both legs… The “gratitude list” is immense and can go down many trails.

I also thought again about our legacies –what we leave behind for people to remember about us, and what we added to the world to make it a better place. Life seems so fleeting so often… so short of a time to do good… to help others… to bring comfort and healing and love and Truth to a world for whom Christ died.

Life is short. It’s fragile. It’s important. It affects others. For good or for bad. We can add harm and hurt or we can add compassion, true concern, and aid.

As I stroked my “aunt” Jean’s arm today, avoiding her bruised, swollen hands, I thought about how we all will one day leave “the tent” behind. (2 Cor. 5:1-4) And about how new bodies, immortal ones, will be given to us. For Christ-followers, there is nothing sad about that. But what will be sad, is if we find out that we’ve wasted our time and efforts during our brief stay on earth. That is something we all should want to avoid! And thankfully, most of us still have a few years to work on it.

with love,

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