Wow. She was only 35 and now she is gone. I knew her.. we had fun… joked around… debated. she always listened to what I would tell her about my perspective about God and faith… she would listen and take things in.
You could tell that she was a searcher. A lazy searcher perhaps, she wasn’t knocking down my door or anything but I knew she was open to a good conversation about God, and maybe open to being convinced about my take on the nature of God. I didn’t get a feeling from her that she was just passing the time or being polite in our conversations, rather the interest was in her eyes and was genuine.
It blows me away that I let this friendship linger, disintegrate even, over the last two years. Even after I found out last year that her brother died of basicly the same type of circumstances and knew that she may be heading down the same road too, still I never got a hold of her to see how she was doing, to invite her to coffee. I was the closest thing to a pastor that she probably had in her life and right or wrong I feel that I failed her.
Now she is gone and I am left with questions. Was I blind to her needs? Am I so far from God that I couldn’t see? Did I ignore God and choose not to see? Have I sinned here?
I question my commitment to the Kingdom when I see the hurting and the lost and just turn away. I think of my friend and, with the benefit of hindsight, know that she was just the type of person that needed to see the Kingdom of God at work in someone’s life. Would that have saved her life? Would that have made her passing more peaceful? Man, I don’t know.
Perhaps it is simply pride that makes me think that the impact of my life intersecting with her’s could of changed her destiny. Sometimes I think that this guilt that we Christians feel when have not done all that we could of is simple pride. When I think that I failed God when he “needed” me or that I failed my friend when she “needed” me makes me wonder about may perception of place in God’s Kingdom. The very nature of this thinking puts me so much in the center of things, makes me so necessary and integral to the end result. It makes me feel icky, just the thought of being so narcistic.
A more generous view is that I have this gift that changed my life forever inside of me. The very spirit of the living God is alive in me, overflowing my cup and spilling out onto the world around. My life is not so special rather the life that is in me is infinitely special. It is His life in me that is what is lifechanging to anyone and everyone, even for… especially for my friend. It is this life, and the love that comes with it, which I have to offer… which I feel that I have held back too often, that I feel I held back from my friend… and now she is gone.