I had a call from a friend today with news that left me stunned. One of my closest friends from my teens and early twenties died suddenly yesterday, he was fifty.
Though at one stage we had been almost inseparable, we had not been close in recent years, not as a result of an argument or falling out but more of a drifting apart through the busyness of life. I suppose there had always been the thought that we would catch up one day and he had expressed to my parents a desire for us to meet again, sadly I never followed up and today I feel consumed with guilt.
Like millions of people the world over I find myself confronted with the reality of death, my friend is the first of our group to die and the news has left all who knew him deeply shocked.
There are things that we can learn from tragedy and here are some of the obvious lessons that spring to mind.
My friend knew Jesus Christ; he had given his life to Christ as a teenager and had served the Lord faithfully in his local church. That fact gives us hope today, we may not see him again in this life but we know we shall see him again. Paul states “for me to live is Christ, to die is gain”. If you’re reading this and you haven’t yet given your life to Christ, do not delay, today is the day of salvation. Make contact through the comments, email or if you know a Christian go and ask them, they’re probably praying for you anyway.
We should pray for my friend’s wife and sons, I think it would be inappropriate to give names online but the Lord knows exactly who they are. Please pray as well for my friend’s mother who tragically lost her husband a few days ago. So many hearts go out to them as a family.
We should make the effort and contact the people that are in our thoughts. Many will have names and faces before them now as they think of friends and relatives with whom they have lost touch. Pick up the phone or log on to facebook or whatever but make the call, there will come a time when it will be too late.
As I’ve thought of my friend today even in the sadness I’ve had to smile, he had a fantastic sense of humour and we laughed our way through our teens. It may be a really strange thing to say since as I’ve said, we hadn’t spoken in years but I will miss him. After all, he was and always will be my friend.