In a text message exchange with a friend, I found myself winding him up as friends do. He had just returned from a trip. My text messages were intended to say “Hi, let’s link up, soon”. With a long silence, I was beginning to wonder if something was wrong when my phone burped.
“Timing my friend is everything. I got back last night to find out that Mum has stage four lung cancer and it is inoperable.”
The note rambled as the tears within began to flow. I am sure it is part of being the age that I am; yet, this is hard to take! Evil is using everything at its disposal to extract a price from the community. Not only are there no bounds – uncertainty, betrayal, pain, and death are on the table – doubling down on individuals is apparently fair game. In the midst of trying to make it in this world, survival in increasingly the biggest challenge.
For whatever advances we have make, transportation options that make the world smaller, mobile phones keeping you connected, and a stream of innovations, the basics are still with us. One has to invest in relationships or they will die. Evil touches rich and poor, powerful and less so, those with degrees and those educated on the street without regard for her/his demographic mark.
In the midst of this reality, I have wondered how my grandmother made it. What was at the core of her life that gave her the courage and strength to live for almost a century? In addition to a willingness to hear and be heard that was with her until the very end, I see one thing she did that is rare, even today. She was blunt and honest with God. It things were good, she commented about it publically. If life was tough and challenging, she took it to God with a firmness and candor that I still find striking. David said it well; “They cried for your help and you gave it; they trusted and lived a good life.” (Psalm 22.5)