About two years ago I met a homeless man named Ricky. I see him almost every weekend on Third Street and he always comes over to chat. He has come to church with me several times and whenever he meets somebody that he thinks I can help, he will call me. It has been an unexpected friendship. One Friday night a couple of months ago I saw Ricky on Third Street and as usual he came over to visit for a while. And just out of the blue he began to share some kind words about how our friendship had affected his life. I didn’t really know what to say in response so I just stood there for a few moments in silence. He said “when people die, their friends and family will have flowers sent to the funeral home. The flowers will be laid on top of their grave but that person will never experience any enjoyment from those flowers. I wanted to give you a flower now.”
I think about these words often….and about how easy it is to leave things unsaid, sometimes until it is too late to say them. Don’t wait…..give out some flowers today.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. (1 John 4:7)
Today my heart is heavy as I have been considering two lives that were cut short in the last few weeks. One of them was an 18 year old boy that I didn’t know, murdered by his “friend” only 900 feet from my house. The other was a 53 year old man that I did know whose body was found less than a mile from my house. It’s a very strange feeling to realize that someone’s life ended so close to where you live. So far in 2017, Baton Rouge has had 65 homicides. That’s 65 people suddenly forced into eternity.
God wasn’t joking when He said life is a vapor. It can be gone so suddenly. That truth should affect the way we live every day.
If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, let that affect your heart, your priorities, your activities and your words. When you look at people, let it be with the realization that they could step into eternity before the day is over. So say the important things to them…..the eternally meaningful things.
We must be ready to meet God. For all of you who may be somewhere between spiritually indifferent and counting the cost of a full surrender to Jesus Christ — please don’t continue in a state that leaves you unprepared for eternity. It could be closer than you think.