My father died on this date, at age 45. From a heart attack. It happened two weeks after his annual check-up, where he’d been told, “Your ticker is in great shape!” They said that back then, “ticker.” They also said a lot of other silly things. And they got a lot of things wrong.
47 years after my dad’s death–two years longer than he lived–I look around and see how much they, i.e. we, still get wrong. We condemn each other for crimes against humanity that (whether right or wrong) were societal norms just a few years or even months ago. We assume that the worst things we hear are true. We fail to listen to each other, preferring instead to talk about each other.
And then we die. Before we can break the pattern and change our ways, before we can learn to listen, learn to forgive. I would give anything to have my father back, to finish the hard work of understanding that had only just begun when his “ticker” quit.
Shame on us. God forgive us and teach us to listen, to understand, to forgive, and to love one another–especially our enemies–in whatever time we have left. Help us to break the pattern of condemnation…
Before our tickers quit.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive yours, but if you do not forgive, neither will yours be forgiven.” ~Matthew 6:14-15
“The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love.” ~Galatians 5:6