"While reading all this, a New Testament scripture came to my
mind: "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye
gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed
me; I was sick and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me....
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my [sisters], ye have
done it unto me." "Missing" seems to fit the part of "one of the least of
these." Thanks to all of you for your charitable hearts and example to me
of Christlike service. You are God's hands on earth. You are
inspiring me to be a better person."
While this drama was unfolding in Lagos, a different drama was going on here in Houston, as a stalwart Symphony chorus member and friend was killed last Monday in a tragic automobile accident. Sally was a social ringleader in the chorus -- beautiful, vibrant, creative, bold and with a huge smile -- about as much of a contrast to "Missing" as can be found. I have been feeling so sorrowful about this tragedy, but I was glad to be in town to attend the chorus rehearsal on Tuesday night where we remembered Sally and sang for her and mourned together. And today it was a healing experience to sing in a fabulous 100+ member choir at her memorial service. Along with the Symphony Chorus, Sally had sung in other professional choruses in the Houston area, so she had lots of choir friends needing to sing to celebrate her life. During the service, as there were spoken remembrances of Sally's spirit and personality, I was reminded of the possibilities each of us have to touch the lives of others.
An affirmation that the congregation spoke at Sally's funeral today touched my heart:
"We are convinced that the life God wills for each of us is stronger than
death. The glory of that life exceeds our imagination, but we know we
shall be with Christ; so we treat death as a broken power. Its ultimate
defeat is certain. In the face of death we grieve; yet in hope we
celebrate life. Nothing, not even death, can separate us from the love of
God in Jesus Christ our Lord."
I don't know if I would have been courageous and generous enough to take on the immense challenge of finding a home for a woman left discarded on the roadside. And I certainly haven't touched lives in the same way as did Sally. But through these experiences this week I've gained a greater resolve to share more and care more, to be a better friend, to be more charitable and giving. I hope that in 2008 I'll do something that will make a difference in the lives of others.
But, for now, it's time to get back to packing and weighing the bags to see if anything else can fit in my weight allowance, cleaning and organizing and getting ready to leave the house. More later from Lagos!