Sometimes, out of the blue, life gives you a punch in the gut. And you are left breathless and in tears. Just such happened to me this morning when I heard the shocking news that a friend's life had suddenly been cut short in a horrible car crash. And suddenly, you come face to face with the realities of death. And all these memories come flooding back, and you realize again that we do leave indelible impressions on those around us. Whether we mean to or not. We are, indeed, not an island. Our words, actions, and the way we make choices really have far reaching influences on our friends, acquaintances, and families.
I remember a conversation I had with my friend once a long time ago, in which she wondered if she really had ever managed to make a difference or make life better for people around her. You see, her work was in the kitchen. Making food. For lots of people. Day after day. Year after year. Yes, I can see how she might sometimes have wondered that. She referenced all the people that walked through her kitchen and then went out and proceeded to change the world with great acts of service and kindness to humankind. I remember at the time, I wanted to loudly declare (and I did) that her life WAS making a difference for hundreds of people. I was living proof! All I had to do was be in her presence for short bursts of time, and I always left feeling loved, cared for, and cheered on in my existence.
And now that she is gone. People all across the United States are mourning the loss of her. And I hope Jesus has gotten a chance to assure her that the life she lived in love with Him by loving and serving other people through her creative and tasty dishes really was exactly the right and good thing she was given to do by God Himself, to bring Him the utmost honor and glory. Her life was so well lived in service to her Lord Jesus!
I can just see her breezing through heaven's gates with her infectious laugh pulsing through the halls, and out into the open breezes. That laughter! It was a one-of-a-kind laugh and always sent warm circles around my heart any time I heard it! She was the reason that I chose to help out in the kitchen for those required hours of work during my stint at the school whenever I had the chance to choose.
Her memories live on in the hearts of her family and friends, and maybe we can all be better for having known her. Maybe we can be the cheer and the love that others need along the way. Maybe when we remember her, we will, with renewed energy and love, do everything that we do to the best of our abilities because it really is all for the honor of Jesus. Her life gives me courage to live wholeheartedly in love with bringing all the glory to Jesus that I can possibly bring! Each and every moment of life does matter. How we treat those around us does matter. Are our actions bringing Jesus to those we brush shoulders with just as Beatrice showed us?
Beat, you really were the best! May your legacy live on! I can imagine you living fully with Jesus just as you lived fully while here on earth! Love you, my friend!