Earlier this week I read of yet another classmate’s untimely demise. The older I get, the more frequent these reports seem to come and my reaction is usually pretty much the same—a smorgasbord of emotions.
If the person knew Jesus, I find myself consoled, but still saddened for their loved ones. I then usually spend some time thinking about the good old days and, wonder how they could have possibly passed so quickly.
However, this week’s news did not spark a welcomed walk down memory lane at all. Quite the contrary, in fact.
My mind seemed hell-bent on traveling to a time some 45 years ago where hurtful words repeatedly hurled in a locker-adorned junior high hallway still echo deep inside.
What? Why does something that happened so long ago still linger in the recesses of my mind? Why, when I haven’t given it a thought it all these years, does the mere mention of a name bring it all back to the forefront?
The purpose of this is, by no means, to shame the unnamed or to defile her memory in any way. But, I do think it important to remind everyone to be careful what you say to others and to remind your kids to do the same. What you say does have the power to hurt another and to haunt them long after the words themselves have fallen silent.
Truthfully, at my age, it’s kind of embarrassing, to realize that I still harbor such feelings about someone I haven’t seen or talked to in four-plus decades.
But, now that I know, I have asked God to help me lay both to rest; to help me to forgive her just as He has forgiven me; to replace the negative memories her name evokes with a celebration of The Father’s unyielding grace and mercy.
Please, Father, I ask you to grant her family and loved ones peace and comfort during this difficult time and help me to look forward to a second chance at friendship when it comes my time to join You both in Heaven.
Amen and Ehmen!