I was recently made aware of the passing of a former schoolmate from Junior High. We attended the same grade and had some common friends, but we were not personally close. I had several interactions with her when we were kids, but our rapport never elevated beyond “acquaintance.”
When I learned of her passing, I quickly went through my Facebook messenger history to see if I ever interacted with her outside of Junior High. To my great chagrin and embarrassment, I discovered our last interaction occurred in September of 2010… a year before I was saved. She had contacted me, and my responses were insensitive and arrogant.
Reading that exchange instantly reminded me of how undeserving I am of God’s grace. Indeed, He demonstrates unconditional love! He must. I’m proof of that.
Though we lived different lives, and though I never actively thought of her well-being after the 2010 interaction, I was still relatively aware of her as we remained social media “friends.” You know, those friends on social media you knew in a past life… and you believed would always be there (online)?
The news of her passing stunned me. A lot. She was young with a whole life ahead of her. She had a child, and I knew her to be a sociable, youthful woman with many friends. This was verified by the stream of condolence messages, and social media eulogies I observed on her friends’ social media platforms, and her own page.
From every single message, status update and testimony I learned that everyone, including her family, was shocked she had passed. Unsurprisingly, some described her as another sad casualty of the year 2020. Not a casualty of the virus, but of the many deaths and devastating events of the year.
I regret my last interaction with her. I wished she had contacted me about a year and a month later. I would have told her about the hope that now lay within me. A hope that is beyond the pains and sufferings of this present evil age.
I would have shared Christ with her and what God had been doing in my heart. He made my cold, selfish, arrogant heart into one that was broken and contrite over my sin; from a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. I would have proclaimed how God transferred me from this domain of darkness into the kingdom of his Beloved Son. I would have shared the Gospel of salvation, the hope for all who call upon the Lord, men, women, or children. He will not cast out any who call upon Him to find rest for their souls.
But in God’s providence and goodness, this did not happen. I went on living my life and she lived hers. And at the appointed time, she was taken from this world into eternity.
She went the way of all flesh and we will all follow.
The “way of all flesh” is a reality we try to forget. We invest a lot of our time and resources attempting to fully disremember it. That’s why when it happens, we’re always surprised by it. We just can’t believe they’re gone. One day others will disbelieve that we are gone.
The many events of this year should remind us of the shortness of life, the certainty of death and the eternality of our souls. There is something that comes next for us all.