Looking back on the year 2020, I am trying to reflect on lessons God has been teaching me throughout the pandemic. Here’s what I have so far:
1) All plans are tentative
2) Slow down
3) Touch with words
4) Choose to focus on what you still have
My 83-year old father died at the end of May during the pandemic, partially due to Covid-19. My father had always been a “larger than life” person, both physically and emotionally. He was six feet, three inches tall, weighing over 200 pounds with a very loud, dominant personality to go with it. I have reflected on the fact that a microscopic virus brought this giant of man down. This tiny virus kept him separated from his family in a nursing home and later in a hospital ward. We were able to speak with him on the phone up to a point, but were unable to have any contact with him during the final days of his life on earth.
Just before the Pandemic started I attended the funeral of one of my favorite students named Chelsea who died at 32 years old in a car accident on the Interstate—caused by coming upon slowed traffic. Chelsea’s personal motto was “send me.” She had already done effective ministry work in eight different countries and was just two weeks away from getting married when she died. I will never forget the funeral visitation and seeing her body in the casket wearing her wedding gown.
Just last week I heard about the tragic death of a beautiful, precious 18-year old girl named Janae who died in a one-car accident caused by snowy conditions on the road. Several of the university students where I teach knew her personally. She was a dedicated Christian who seemingly had her whole life before her.
A virus, a traffic slow-down, and snow; all things that could easily happen to any one of us. If we are paying attention, the tragic deaths that happen all around can teach us the important lesson that life is very fragile and very precious.
When you think about it, all of us are just one breath or one heartbeat away from meeting our creator face to face. That knowledge could change the way we live our lives and how we treat other people—if we let it.
Reflections: Instead of ignoring death when we hear about it, allow it to teach you how to live. Allow death to teach you the lesson that life is very fragile and precious.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.