I ran across this quote on Twitter, "that best portion of a good man's life; his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. The author is William Wordsworth. Seemed appropriate I should read this quote after I had been with the Reverend Terry Murray. He died yesterday, after a short illness, and he died too young. Sixty three years old and he had so much yet to do and to live for.
Terry was a man of deep faith and commitment. I haven't begun to hear all the stories of his ministry in the Kansas West Conference of the United Methodist Church or his many years as a chaplain with the National Guard. His "nameless acts of kindness" will be remembered by all those who were touched by his life and ministry. I only know I didn't have enough time with him this last year as he began retirement to be with his beloved wife Ann, to travel and to be part of the congregation I serve at West Heights.
This week I was struck again by how fragile life is. I attended a funeral for a neighbor, Mark Scheuerman. He was only fifty-five and touched so many lives through his laughter and his love. Two days later, I was in the hospital saying goodbye to Terry.
Both men leave behinds a multitude of family and friends. Both, made a difference in the lives of their co-workers and neighbors. Both were unique and unrepeatable and I will miss them.
I have to admit, it is often easy for me to take for granted that people around me. Tomorrow is soon enough to schedule that cup of coffee, or stop by for a chat. Weeks like this remind me there are no guarantees. Life is short and it is precious. I am not promised tomorrow, only today and these moments. I need to be reminded. I need to get out of my rut in order to truly drink in the presence of those I love the most. I need to be reminded to pay attention, because I do not know when or if I will see them again.
So I give thanks this night for lives well lived and for the blessing I have received from them. I will attempt again to pay attention to the moments and the relationships I have. So that, in all times and in all my relationships I remain
Graced to Serve.