Today we poured two concrete driveways at the home of a family, my family used to worship with. It has been a while since we've had any interaction with this particular family, and I simply wasn't sure what type of reception to expect. Any anxiety I felt was quickly dispelled. My reception was more than pleasant, it was refreshing.
The family has an adult daughter who has been battling a tough form of cancer for four years. Due to the care she needs, she lives in her parents' house. When I first arrived at their house early this morning, the mom asked me if I would like to come in the house and visit with her daughter. I quickly said yes, and our brief visit was touching to me. I had officiated for her wedding several years ago, we had been there shortly after the birth of her twins. We've observed some of their major experiences and some huge milestones in their life.
At the end of the day, the mom was taking the daughter out for a doctor's visit. I was able to help her move her daughter into the car. It was a weird, sort of surreal experience. I had ministered to her daughter through the years, like I said doing her wedding and such, and now here I found myself filthy from a day's work of concrete; sweaty and dirty and probably a little odoriferous..., helping lift her in a wheelchair off of the front porch and helping situate her in the vehicle. It felt like real ministry, but different than "church-work" ministry, if you know what I mean.
I felt ministered to as well, because of the family's warm reception and the hugs we shared. On more than one occasion today I found my eyes were welling up as I thought about this young lady's situation. I felt a little choked up more than once thinking how more than likely, her husband & children won't always have her in their lives. There were several emotions flowing through me.
Today, I also was sharply reminded of how life is too short to be... whatever. I don't know. It's tough to articulate. Seeing this young mom and wife and daughter struggling to even communicate, completely immobilized by her condition, it just seems to me there are bigger fish to fry...
If you are healthy and have any future at all, thank the Lord, and then go hug someone you love. After you hug someone you love, go apologize to someone you've offended. After you apologize, go forgive someone who's offended you. You never know when life will throw you a curve-ball.