People I once knew
I read that someone died today. I once knew him.
I read that someone was born today. I knew his parents once.
The beauty of facebook is that it keeps us connected to people that we once knew and spent time with. It calls us back to a time in our lives when that friendship was essential.
The hard part about it is that we are now only connected by a screen and a social media app. It reminds me that this life is short, brief and filled with sound bite snippets that at the time were important enough to shape me and my future without knowing it. We shared meals, worshipped and played together and I never looked forward and thought that they wouldn’t be part of my daily routine one day. People with whom I shared prayer requests, traded sandwiches at lunch, drove to the airport, and who I called friends are now people I once knew.
My friend Colleen showed me her 6th grade class picture from 1945. I was drawn into the picture as I hunted for her face, hoping I would be able to tell which little girl was her. Though those faces were faded and young, though it was the end of WW2, hope and promise was visible. She knew everyone, except for one boy who was only there for part of the year. She shared memories and stories about each classmate. She still knows most of them and has shared friendship for 80 years! I wondered at the connectedness and meaning that relationships bring.
That is the way life works. The days are long but the years are short. Most of life happens in a dash (which is very inadequate to communicate all the life of a person) on a gravestone between 2 years, representing birth and death. Though we are here on earth for a brief time, we leave a mark. I am compelled by this reality that we each have a purpose and then we fade away. There are some lifelong relationships, but many are just for a season. There are people I once knew and because of cameras and social media, they don’t fade away so quickly and I am reminded of their purpose in my life, even though it was temporary. I am hopeful because, though this life is short, the next one is not and no one will fade and be forgotten. Relationships and community will be forever!
One day, on this globe, the memory of each of us will fade away, even in our own families. Yet, while we live we can focus on our purpose instead of our heritage and legacy. We can reflect the Son every day until He shines brightly and we fade into eternity.