What a summer. I wonder what we will remember when we look back. The brewing war in Afghanistan? The fight over health care? Personal struggles? The movies that came out? The fourth anniversary of Katrina? Or maybe the number of good people that we lost. Michael Jackson, E. Lynn Harris, Ted Kennedy, Farrah Fawcet, Dominick Dunne, Patrick Swayze, Ellie Greenwich? If we tune in and listen, God is talking to us.
I also lost my uncle this summer. Charles Richard Dawson. Though he was not famous and most of you did not know him, his loss was monumental to our family. As is usually the case with death, old feelings bubble to the surface. We remember past hurst and wounds are freshly opened. Sometimes the things we hold on to are significant. We were right to feel hurt. Sometimes the grudges are petty.
It is almost certain that the only chance we have to forgive is in life. We come together at weddings and funerals and we say, “we should get together more often.” We leave the gathering and the we wait for the next event to see each other. We do not call. We make no effort to reunion with one another.
The old jealousies and petty differences are back on top. We feed them by talking about them. Over and over. I wasn’t invited. He never called and told me. She went without me. So, we wait. For them to call us. For the other one to apologize. We make a big show of family importance but we do not speak to this one or invite that one.
How marvelous it is that God does not treat his family the same way. He loves us when we don’t invite him in. He cares for us when we don’t remember to repay him. He does not deny us even when we deny each other. We are his children. His family.
When my children were growing up and they would have disagreements with cousins or friends I would always say, ‘you can always afford to be magnanimous.” And you can, too. You can say you’re sorry even if you think someone else should. You can pick up the phone and call, even if you feel someone else should. You can extend your hand. You can smile.
We here the time honored cliche all too often. Tomorrow is not promised. We often add an amen and “no one knows the day or the hour.” That being said. Get your house in order. Like a preacher once said, “sometimes you don’t have time to get ready. Sometimes you just have to be ready.”
I get that we all all so busy. That there isn’t enough time in the day. Our calendars are filled with events we don’t have enough time to attend. But life should be about more than summer barbeques and long weekends. Our world should be bigger than ourselves. We should cherish each other. Family and friends.
So pick up the phone and call someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Someone you’ve been thinking about. Put down the remote. Turn off Bejeweled Blitz and re-connect with humanity. Face Book is no substitute for hearing a real laugh. Whatever it is that is stopping you is in your control. Cast it aside. Tomorrow might be too late.