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Take the time

There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time. There is a time to be born and a time to die. There is a time to cry and a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad and a time to dance with joy. There is a time to hug someone and a time to stop holding so tightly. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4-5 ERV)

Today is a bitter-sweet day for I will attend the funeral of my best friend's mother. Together we will mourn, and yet, we will celebrate a life well-lived, a woman well-loved. We will embrace each other and hold each other close, languishing just a little longer than usual in that embrace of companionship that connects us in our love and comforts us in our grief. We will cry for there has been a great loss, and yet, we can do nothing more honoring to her life than to hold fast to the memories she created in the hearts of her loved ones, friends, and acquaintenances over her many years on this earth. The greatest challenge for her husband will be to fill the gap created by her passing. The hardest adjustments to be made by her children will be to realize her hand is no longer there to hold, her "mothering" is no longer there to draw from. The deepest grief any of us experiences is that of the loss of someone we have loved and who has loved us well.

Would you indulge me for just a few moments this morning? I have a challenge each of us can embrace, if we so choose, but the choice will be ours to make.

- Who needs your love today more than anything else you could give or bring to them? How long has it been since you have really sat next to them and just enjoyed being with them? If you come to the realization it has been way too long, your challenge today will be to just make that time - for nothing else matters as much as connecting with that one who so desperately needs that connection, too. We will both benefit from the connection!

- Who has God placed in your life that might need not so much your advice as much as they need to have your listening ear and compassionate spirit? The greatest gift we can give one who needs to unburden themselves, sorting through the issues at hand, or even just being able get things off their chest is to be a listening ear and an open heart. Not judging them, not offering them the "fix" for their issues, but just being there to walk it out with them.

- Who has God placed in your path that can no longer do something for themselves, but who may not have anyone to count on to help them manage through whatever it is they need to have done? The smallest acts of service may make the hugest impact in the lives of those who are aging, debilitated, or disabled by disease or injury. No one wants to "ask" for help, but when we recognize the need, could we meet it somehow? We may never know when we are making the connection that helps them see just how much they are loved, honored, and appreciated in our lives.

There is indeed a "right time" for everything. Perhaps today is the "right time" for each of us to step up in the lives of another - to cry, or laugh together; to be sad a while, and then to experience the greatest of joy because we have been together through it all. There is a neck that needs hugging and a life that needs your loving - we cannot let those moments pass us by - for we shall never get them back again. Just sayin!

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