"Sorry for bringing this up on such a beautiful day. But there are things more important than weather and politics. Living and loving each day, until the days are no longer."
Last week we had twelve diseased red oak trees taken down. Sad day in the house. Those who have trees know what I mean. They become (bear with me on this one) part of the family. Anyhow, we found a nice Christian man in the area (very good reviews), his price was good, and we trusted he would do a fine job. And he did.
Shortly after he started, my neighbor behind me came out to chew out my tree guy. That some of the toppings had come down on his lot. When I went out to check to see how my tree guy was doing, he told me what had happened. I could not believe it. My neighbor and I have next to each other for over 20 years and never one inch of a problem. Besides all of which, neither he nor I really care a wit about the border between our lots.
I got into my truck and drove over to his house. I wanted to apologize, and to tell him I would ensure no tree toppings remained on this lot. When he opened the door, he was the one who apologized to me. He said he did not mean to yell at my tree guy - they were doing a fine job. That everything was all right. We chatted for a while and then I got in my truck to come home.
Yesterday afternoon, my son-in-law was over helping be cut up some branches from the fallen trees. When he was ready to leave, I could faintly hear someone calling my name. It was my neighbor's wife trying to make it through the jungle of branches and bushes that separate our lots.
She apologized again for what happened with her husband. She told me right before the tree cutters started cutting, he had received a call from up north. His father was actively dying in hospice. He felt so bad about the way he talked to our tree cutter, he called his wife (who was out of town on business) to tell her that.
I was shocked and saddened to hear about her father-in-law. After we talked for a while, I grabbed her by the arms, and told her, "God bless you". She then went back home and ventured north to watch this loved one die and then plan a funeral.
Once she left, I felt empty. There was so much more I could, and should have said. For example, better words of comfort. And then words of prayer. But death is always the unwanted, un-foretasted intruder in our lives. It often times catches the most prepared flat-footed. For folks like me - totally it caught me totally unprepared.
Then this thought hit me - once again. We all die, because we are all fallen. We are all fallen because Satan tempted Eve, and then corrupted Adam. But we live because of the New Adam - Jesus.
Death is such a downer, most never like to think about it - that is until it strikes close to home. But most all of us have seen death, and felt the sting. However, we are now in the season of Lent. Where we are first reminded on Ash Wednesday that we WILL one day day die. And then after the 40 day journey, we are reminded again, that we will live again through Christ.
Sorry for bringing this up on such a beautiful day. But there are things more important than weather and politics. For example, living and loving each day, until our days are no longer. And then when the time comes, to go around the bend gently, and rest in the place promised to be our final home.
In the future, I hope I can find better words for friends, and neighbors, who are experiencing the unexpected intruder. Then again, sometimes just being there for them is all that matters.