I’ve had a recurring thought these last few months that maybe my friends in Virginia have a call/text list for me. It is so encouraging to get a text or call every now and then, just because. Friends will text me that this or that made them think of me. But it happens not just once in a great while but pretty consistently. Could one of them have said, “Hey listen, you know what Kristie is going to need? She’s going to need to know we still love her, that she is not forgotten, that the Jacksons may not be people we see all the time, but they haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.” I am kidding about the list. I don’t know how that would work, and some of these friends aren’t connected by anything other than geographic proximity. I think these sweet friends are just being sweet friends, without any need for an orchestrating force beyond the faithful promptings of the Holy Spirit.
These dear ones are just being biblical, following Paul’s admonition to “encourage one another and build one another up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11. But I am so very thankful for their faithfulness — so very thankful. How are you doing with that little mental list of phone calls you should make, or friends you should check on? Can I encourage you to send that text or email? Maybe a handwritten note would be a treasure for that person. Maybe the sound of your voice would mean the world to them.
This week I heard about two untimely deaths. One a 45-year-old husband and father. One a 25-year-old woman. I knew them both, although not terribly well. But you don’t need to be close to someone to have the gravity of death hit you with force, especially when that death is sudden and decades or a half-century too early. Often our culture tries to live in denial that death is even a reality. I find it horribly sad when empty platitudes –borne out of desperation to feel better in the moment — are all people have to cling to.
But I’m honestly not trying to be a downer. It’s Friday and I hope it is full of joy for you and yours. I hope that you know what will happen to you when you die, that you cling to a Risen Savior who loves you, instead of platitudes. I hope, today, you’ll reach out to someone to build them up and give them an encouraging word. Just let them know you are thinking of them. Because one thing in this life is certain: you won’t always have that chance.