Just a Moment

I bumped into an “old” friend a couple of weeks ago. She’s not really old by my standards, although I recently discovered that 40 is the old age of youth and 50 is the youth of old age. That puts both of us just over the latter hill. Beth is someone that I used to see frequently, because for years our families were part of the same small group at our church. In recent history, we only bump into each other once in awhile, but she is one of those people with whom I will always feel an instant connection.

I hadn’t seen her since the day of her husband’s funeral and of course, one of my first questions, after a hearty hug, was, “How are you doing?” She knew this packed more than polite curiosity. I think about her so often and wonder how a spouse copes with losing half of herself. How was she surviving since Dave, her soul-mate of over 40 years was promoted to heaven?

She smiled (for as long as I’ve known her, she’s had a room-brightening, people-cheering smile) and responded that she is doing quite well, actually. She said she was keeping very busy, which was a huge help in dealing with the intense loneliness. But then she continued…”I realize more and more how life is, just as the Bible says, a vapor that appears for a moment and then is gone. As I think about Dave I realize I had him for a moment… just a moment.”

I nodded in agreement, then added… “And it was a really good moment, wasn’t it?” Her smile widened. “It was a GREAT moment!” she declared. And for any of you old TV commercial experts, Tony the Tiger’s endorsement of Frosted Flakes never got close to Beth’s joyful enthusiasm.

I’ve thought back to that conversation so many times since it took place. I remember when I used to read books to my children at naptime or bed-time. My mouth moved and words came out (I can only assume they were the words printed on the pages), but often my mind was far from story-time. It was focused on all the things that I needed to do as soon as these kids would fall asleep. I remember times when my husband would try to tell me about something of importance to him. I would smile and nod, but my thoughts were travelling elsewhere. On one such occasion, it was as though the Lord’s quiet whisper penetrated the hustle and bustle in my mind. “Sharon, you are not savoring the present and you are missing out on something so special. The laundry can wait. Supper will get made. But right now you have a moment with your child. Enjoy it. Make it wonderful.” I realize there can be no great life-time without thousands of minute-by-minute great moments.

Beth said something else that morning… “The Lord is so good. I’ve walked with Him, along with Dave all our years together, and I’m certainly not going to stop now!“ I figure therein lies another secret to life’s amazing moments… a friendship with Jesus. I recognize that Beth’s life hasn’t always been problem-free. She and Dave, like all of us, faced challenges, loss, and difficult times. But Jesus kept them going even through the toughest days. His presence and His goodness were constant … so much so, that as she looks back her focus isn’t on the negative times… her verdict on their years was full of joy and gratitude!

Thanks Beth! You gave me a powerful reminder of how I want to live… how I purpose to live!

Lord, help me today to hold close to You and help me make the most of each little tidbit of “now” You give me with my husband, my children, my grandchildren, my friends, my world… so that when I look back on a lifetime I can echo Beth… “yes, it was just a moment…a vapor that appeared for a little while and then was gone… but what a GREAT moment it was!