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Start, Middle and End

In the space of less than 10 days, I celebrated the life of a friend who’s now with Jesus and then a week later with another friend who now needs Jesus like never before . . . on the journey called marriage!

And while thinking on these things, I realised that it seems the three most common times in one’s lifetime when you’re likely to see the highest gathering of the people that matter to you, at least to a good extent, are when you’re born (which doesn’t really count in my opinion because the people present usually just matter to your parents), when you’re getting married and then when you die.

I dare say you’re more likely to have more people at the celebration and/or mourning of your life on earth than at the commemoration of your new married life – usually the part 2 of your lifetime.

At the service of songs, I caught up with friends I hadn’t seen in months and some in years. I remember saying to one who I’d more or less given up on that we’ll see in this life oh! Although I meant that as a determination to stay in touch, it was taken rather morbidly, God forbid, yes we must – a good prayer anyway.

At the service of marriage, I also caught up with people I hadn’t seen in months, some of whom I’d made efforts and some no effort to see.

It made me think to myself: what is it about these two events, that all of a sudden makes whatever else keeps us busy and apart from these human connections, now seem trivial, time and cost irrelevant?

Like we would drop all we possibly can to be present. Almost nothing else mattered. Why does this matter now? I can understand the marriage one. I’ve come to rejoice in your joy which is a fulfilling of Jesus’ words (even though I still don’t understand why people take pictures and videos of almost everything going on! Are you looking to get the next viral video?)

I can’t understand the death one. Did I make the same effort to celebrate life with the person while on earth? Maybe I should understand. Jesus also said to mourn with those that mourn but I’m not mourning for the person especially if the person is chilling with Jesus. I think it’s rather obvious I’m not attending for the person but looks more like I’m there to show mutual and symbiotic solidarity, support and comfort.

Maybe I’m reading unnecessary meanings into these things. Maybe it’s just what it is. Be present at my friends’ weddings and deaths, and I’ll like to think I’ve done a good job! But life has to be more than that.

Or is it that I don’t have that level of friendships in my life that are beyond weddings and deaths? And this is just a cry for deeper levels of connections than these two events? Hopefully, I’m not just being morbid.

And it’s making me think about how I invest in my friends’ lives while I have this time with them. Am I paying as much attention as I should to the people GOD has put in my life or am I waiting till things get real serious before I show them how important and how much of a blessing they are to me?

Am I constantly affirming them in words? Keeping in touch if just in simple texts or IMs to remind them how amazing them are? Being a constant encourager and spurring them on towards greatness? Or am I taking them for granted? Anywhere belle face! Not being intentionally beautiful to them?

I’m also speaking to myself because I’d really love to be more intentional in my relationships and give my best to it but maybe I’m just in a season where this is on hold as it seems the efforts I’ve made especially since my Manchester move have not been reciprocal.

Anyhoo, bottom line, put your behind into your friendships. Love them in life and in death. Don’t be like the man in one old Nigerian movie that buried his mum in a million-dollar casket but was financially useless to her while she was alive.

To your growing life connections, . . .

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