Last year, the world lost a most valuable person in the form of an old friend named Rachel. Though I cannot remember the last time that I saw her in person, I thought of her (and her family) a lot over the years.
Rachel had the most beautiful smile to brighten up the faces of those around her.
Her family hosted YFC when I was in hs. Sometimes my parents would pick me up late and I would be the last one to leave. The family was always gracious in waiting for my parents with me.
We tried to meet to have bible study on campus. I think we met only that once, but one thing that was evident was Rachel's heart for her friends, asking for prayer over them.
She could sing too. On a whim, she dragged a couple of her friends up to the microphone in front of the entire camp and got them to sing with her. The song was "Sunny day."
When I went away for college, Rachel was one of the first to send me a card. Everytime I looked at it, I missed home but felt warm knowing that I was still thought of back home. She made it herself with a purple piece of paper, folded in half, and a photocopied picture of a surfer taped to the front. She signed it "Ra-cho." It stayed on my wall for those years.
That's how she is for everyone, warm, giving, smiling.
Just recently, we gave another good young person to be with the Lord. Albert comes from a big family; it was something to see his family, his immediate family gather up to say "farewell." I can't imagine...
Albert's smile is one of the greats also. That's what I have remembered over the years, and will continue to remember. I hadn't seen him since hs, though I knew his brother-in-law from college.
Albert had been in a Math class with me, and I think an English class also.
We didn't hang out with the same people, I can't recall any of our conversations.
Yet, I have thought of him often over the years. Seeing the more recent pictures of him displayed at the service, I knew that smile right away. The brightness of that smile will never fade.
I realized recently that in the past few years, I have gone to more funerals than my parents. It's a strange and scary thing. The only thing I can think to do is to follow the example of what Albert's brother John vowed to do, that he would live his life the best he can to honor Albert's memory.
Other people stay with me over the years, and this is the time to reconnect.
The picture of Rachel in my room now serves as a reminder to live on, and to live more boldly, to honor Rachel and Albert. I wonder, did they know how many lives they have touched over the years?
When I am called up at my time, the question I will ask myself, Did I do all I could for others? Lately, it's been a struggle, but I'm feeling the hint of a second wind.