This evening, I sent a message to my friend. She and I have the kind of friendship where we might go weeks or months without having a conversation, but she is often on my heart and in my prayers. I invited her to do a book study with me this summer and have totally dropped the ball. My message said, "Can you do lunch this week? Crazy busy here with weddings and funerals."
My next message will be an apology for my neglect.
And she will forgive.
What I know is my friend will forgive me and we will meet, catch up, laugh, maybe even cry a bit...because my life has been busy with a wedding and a funeral - since my friend and I were together a little more than 3 weeks ago. The wedding, I knew was coming (although it came quickly!) but the funeral, not the case. I didn't actually attend the funeral since it was in Washington DC area (a good distance from Texas), but I was there in heart and spirit with my son and his fiance' - the one who lost her father. I loved her father even though I didn't know him well. The time I spent with him, I remember his smile as big and genuine and his eyes as soft and understanding. At our first meeting several years ago, he pointed to my son and said, in broken English, "Your son?" I nodded "yes". He said, "My son too." I knew he loved my son and accepted him as his future son-in-law. I will never forget it. This man survived 8 years as a prisoner of war, held captive in his own country, was finally freed, and moved with his family to the United States just over a decade ago. He survived a battle with cancer, until it returned with a vengeance. He was laid to rest on Saturday.
My son and his future wife made it from Texas, to DC, to see him before he passed and remain there today to help his widow mourn and plan the next few weeks.
I know that there are questions and sadness in the minds of those who are left here; especially his young daughters who didn't have him that long. And I pray that the anger passes quickly, and that they forgive - God, physicians, war - for "taking" him from this life.
My thoughts ponder on forgiveness and why, for some, it comes easier than for others. I remember when I would have been hurt and even resentful if a friend asked me to do a book study and then bailed on me for three weeks. And I haven't lost a parent, but if I get angry about a busy (neglectful?) friend, how will I take the loss of someone I love so dearly?
It doesn't seem that there is much I can do to help my son and his fiance's family - except love them, comfort them and pray. But, I can learn from my friend about forgiveness and rest in knowing that God continues to grow me.
Let me not forget how much I am loved and continue to love those who God has given to me, well.