Thursday, January 17, 2013

In an Instant~

The  recent death of a 4 month old in our church family has me re-thinking and re-posting this "older" post about the brevity of life. . .

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This morning started like any other morning. My alarm jolted me out of my dreams and then out of my cozy bed as out into the world I stepped.

At work, this day started like any other morning, too. Emails to answers, projects to complete and phones to answer.

In fact, it was answering a phone call that turned this ordinary day, upside down.

"Stacy," the voice on the other end of the line sounded urgent," is the Pastor in?"

"Yes, just a moment please."

I put the phone on hold and walked the short distance down the hall to the front offices, then informed the pastor about the caller waiting on line 1.

I returned to my desk, opened a another email, then looked up as the pastor entered my office.

"It was a massive heart attack. I'm headed to the hospital."

Minutes later, another phone call. This one from the Pastor.

"He didn't survive. He's gone."

In a matter of moments, a member of our church was gone. One moment, he was on the golf course, taking in this beautiful fall day and breathing in life. The next, fallen onto the grass to breathe of this life no more.

In an instant.

A moment.

Suddenly, nothing about my own life felt ordinary anymore.

As I hung up the phone, I distinctly remembering feeling my lungs inhale and then exhale as I took my next breath. I felt the pounding of my heart, as each beat pumped blood through my veins. I felt the blinking of my eyes as tears welled up and overflowed. I felt my stomach, a sea of emotion.

As I unconsciously pulled the collar of my shirt up close around my neck, I smelled the "scent of my husband" still lingering on my shirt, a precious reminder of our morning embrace.

Looking straight ahead at nothing in particular, I spotted a photo of my sister, her precious little boy and me. Walking through a mall one day while we were both vacationing at my mother's home, we had spotted one of those fun little photo booths, looked at each other with that twinkle in our eyes and dove in. The photo brought new tears.

As I sat in my office, my little cubicle of the world, I was suddenly aware of life,

of being alive.

Emails, projects, to-dos, bills, the argument I had with my husband the day before, my dirty house...

none of it mattered anymore.


I was alive. I had been blessed with one more minute of life. Possibly one more hour or one more day or one more week or one more year.

What a gift.

What a privilege.

And shamefully, regretfully, what a waste...all the days before when I was simply going through the motions, existing, and doing, and completing my list, but not really living.

As I sat in my office, I thought about my life.
I thought about how many minutes had been wasted on

piddly bickering,

thankless complaining,

endless worrying,

mindless living.

What if today was my last day?

What if that would have been me?

Not another opportunity to feel the warmth of the sun,

to hear the wind whistling through the trees,

to taste the sweetness of honey,

to laugh until it hurt,

to dance when no one was watching or maybe even if they were,

to experience life,


What if that phone call would have been about me?

Am I satisfied with how I have lived my life?

Am I ok with the way I have chosen to spend the minutes I have been so graciously given?


Am I content to keep living this way?





I don't want this day to end like any other ordinary day.

I don't want my life to end like just another ordinary life.

When my end comes,
when I breathe my last breath,
I want my life to have been lived to the full,


                      overflowing with LIFE~

Teach us how short our lives really are

so that we may be wise.
~ Psalm 90:12, NCV

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  1. I'm so sorry for this family's loss. I have had two friends loose infants in the past year. It is devastating. I, too, have been thinking a lot about the brevity of life the past month. Our daycare provider passed away suddenly a few days before Christmas. It's sad that it takes a loss of life for so many of us to wake up and see the precious gift that it is. I waste so much of it. My husband is preaching a series right now called, "Do Something Big in 13", challenging the congregation to listen to God's call and act in order to make a difference in the world. I want to strive to do that this year, and try to waste less of this precious time.

  2. Thank you for sharing. Life here on earth is short. It is the stepping stone to the Life that follows. The loss of a baby or a young child is so difficult but I truly believe they are all saved. Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matt. 19:14 May Grace Be With you!

  3. I think it was Mary Oliver that said when she stepped out if this life she didn't want to have just walked in the surface if this world, she wanted to be all used up. I get frustrated with myself that there are these bold moments of clarity, but then they slip away. It's too easy to fall back into autopilot.


Thank you for leaving a "heartprint" of your own.