As young as my children are, they have already experienced the deaths of two friends. Both have been to our house on several occasions so I had met them at some point. Cancer has inflicted other acquaintances and ravaged others to the grave.
We just don’t know what tomorrow will bring, or more importantly, whether we will have a tomorrow.
The most recent death was a young man who my daughter has known since the first grade. During high school I suppose, he entered the drug culture. Some make it out, others don’t. He didn’t.
What bothers me the most is since I didn’t know his mother, I really had no idea if that young man was exposed to the truth. You know the gospel. Was he saved? Where was he spending eternity? Is he at peace?
As a parent you get the awesome privilege, or annoyance depending on the situation, of getting to know your kid’s friends. What never strikes any of us is the fact that your child, or your children’s friends just might die. Then the questions come to mind…..was he saved? Was I kind to him? Cordial? Rude? What were the last words I said to him. Did the countenance on my face show Jesus?
To be brutally honest, I don’t like some of my children’s friends. I think they are bad influences. Instead of shining my light on them, I try my best to run them off to keep peace in the pipeline of mother and child. Wrong? Probably, but I have taken my share of troubled teens into my tiny home so they can get their crap together and not be in the streets. I pray for them and plant some seeds without beating anyone over the head with the Bible. Sometimes, all a person needs is some kindness.
The world is an unstable and scary place sometimes. Evil is portrayed as good and good is portrayed as evil. It must be awful being a teenager these days trying to decipher it all. Hell, it can be unpleasant just being an adult doing that! Frankly, without God holding my right hand, I’d be curled up in a ball in a corner somewhere sucking my thumb.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is to have a heart for your young person and their friends. Look them in the eye and sincerely ask how they are doing, how’s school, where do you live, etc. I’m not my child’s best friend or buddy, but I damn sure need to be engaged in their life, even when they cringe at me for talking to their friends for a few minutes.
Tonight I plan to grab those I love by the neck and give ’em a huge “I luv ya” kiss right there in front of God and everybody! Cuz life’s too short to lay awake in bed at night wondering about the what ifs. Especially if you had an opportunity to share the love of Jesus and you didn’t.