I'm sorry it has taken so long to get back to writing on this blog. Much has happened since I last posted, and not all is good. I'm not sure how long this will be, but I will try to bring you up-to-date on what has been happening.
On March 30th we were at Big Al's getting the thermostat on our car replaced. While we were there, our dear friend Pastor Ric stopped by to talk to Al about his car. While he was there, Ric got a call that his only son Lon had been rushed to the hospital. That night Ric texted me that it was an infection and that Lon was back home. On Saturday Ric texted me that his son had died. I believe the cause of death was due to a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty heater. I pray Ric will forgive me for revealing this personal and painful information because I hope we can ALL learn something from this terrible tragedy.
Lon was only 43 years old, and was a gentle, kind man who was loved by all who knew him. This past Saturday we went to the wake for him. The chapel of the funeral home was filled to capacity and beyond with people who loved Lon, and wanted to be with others who loved him and would miss him. Many tears were shed by people that Lon had helped over the years. He had been an example of love and generosity to all, and never turned anyone needing his kindness away. He helped people overcome their demons, and even if they faltered, he stuck with them. He didn't give up on anyone who came to him for help. Several people, including Ric told stories of what Lon had meant to them. Lon was a genuine kind of person who truly cared about the people he knew. I think he would have helped a total stranger too if he was asked to do something.
I hope we can take away two lessons from Lon's life and his passing. First is that we should never be in such a hurry that we can't take time to help others who are in need, or are hurting. A kind word or a helping hand can make a huge difference to a person who is alone or hurting. We should not let our lives become so busy, or so self-centered that we will ignore the people around us. God gave us life and that does make us important, but it's not supposed to make us selfish and ignorant of the people around us. God created us to love Him and to love our neighbors (and that means everyone).
Second, I hope this will remind all of us that this life on earth is transitory. It may be short, but we should make the most of it. God gave us a beautiful world to live in. As I have said before, we should wake up with an attitude of gratitude for all that He has given us. We should be counting our many blessings, not grumbling about what we don't have. We do have what we need. There are many in the world who are much less fortunate than most of us are. Even if it's not perfect, most of us have fairly good health. If it's not as good as we wish it would be, many of us can do something about it. In fact most of us could do with eating a little less (or eating healthier foods) and getting a little more exercise. If will power is an issue, ask God for help with that too.
Most of us have some money in our pockets, and in our bank accounts, so we can buy what we need. There are many people with much less than what we have. I have mentioned before that there are some wonderful charities that could use donations, such as The Wounded Warrior Project, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Shriner's Hospital, the Salvation Army, and the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States. There are also international charities such as Save The Children that desperately need help. This earthly life is short, and NONE of us knows exactly when we will be called home. But we have today, and we should not squander it. What can you do to help another person today? If you don't have money to donate, do you have time or energy you can donate? You might volunteer at a local animal shelter, nursing home or hospital. Maybe you have clothes or blankets or canned food you can bring to a center for the homeless. Volunteers are needed every day. Please search your heart and see what you can do for someone less fortunate than yourself. Helping others will make you feel better about your own life too.
Another thing I want to say about realizing that this life could end suddenly is about forgiveness. Many of us have held onto bad feelings towards someone that we may feel has wronged us. In the first place, that person may or may not even know you are holding onto these ugly and often hateful feelings. Such feelings often hurt us more than anyone else. It takes a lot of energy to maintain a grudge, and that is just wasted energy. God has forgiven us for our sins, so who are we to decide we can't forgive others who may have hurt us at some time in the past? As Christians we are supposed to try to learn from Jesus Christ and try to be like Him. He forgave us, so we need to forgive others. Please don't waste another day of your life focused on past grievances. Forgive fully and make peace with those you have held bad feelings towards. Letting go of negative feelings can be the start of a new and happier life for you. A life of kindness and love for all mankind. Don't put off until another day the kindness you could do today, because none of us know if we will be here tomorrow.
Have a wonderful day filled with appreciation for all God has given you and with love and hope for the future. God loves you, and that is a great way for your day to begin.
One more short note. Mary is still stuck in Lordsburg waiting for Smith Ford to get her van fixed so she can continue her travels. Sunday we drove over and took lunch and her mail from here to her. She is still in good spirits, and working on her projects. Monday another friend from here went over and took her out to lunch, at the place I like, Kranberry's Chatterbox. She still doesn't know how much longer she will be stuck there, or what these repairs will cost her, but she is still grateful that the van will be repaired and safe to drive when she finally gets back on the road. She has a great attitude and that is so important in life.
Happy days and happy, safe travels to one and all. 😊