I heard today that yet another person who influenced my life has gone on to be with Jesus.
I haven't seen her in years, but I can still see her blue eyes flashing in the kid-watching mirror on the bus- letting me know I had better sit down or else.
Who needs bus monitors when you could have someone with eyes like that driving the bus?
She used to have the mouthy kids sit in the garbage basket up in the front right next to her.
She wasn't tall- she had big wooden blocks attached to the bus pedals so she could drive it. I remember her stress whenever she had to take her driver's test and had to drive without the blocks on.
She also was my 4-H leader. She taught me indoor gardening for a couple of years. She called (and kept) our meetings to order.
She put effort into the lives of kids in her community. She had a tie-dying meeting at her HOUSE once. She definitely had an influence on who I am.
But she's gone from this world. I won't see her again.
And I got the news this morning, right after reading this;
"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart." Ecclesiastes 7:2.
I have been in the house of mourning for a while now. It seems that my losses just keep stacking up. But the author of Ecclesiastes is right. It has helped me to "take to heart" that death is my destiny. And, it is changing the way I live. Not in the fluffy chain email way of "wear your pretty underwear" but in the way of, "whose life have I touched for Christ today?" As Francis Chan writes in his book- Crazy Love "Friends, we need to stop living selfish lives, forgetful of our God. Our lives here are short, often unexpectedly so, and we can all stand to be reminded of it from time to time."
The people whom I have lost over the last 9 months have not been old. 18, 16, 56, 56, 62, 59. I think of my mom- did she know when she was my age (30) that she had already lived more than half of her life. No. And I don't have any guarantee that I will get to finish this post. Or that you'll get to finish reading it.