There is so much on my mind tonight. My heart feels like it is hanging, broken within my chest. I have lost four grandparents and other family members over my lifetime, but never a close friend. My heart aches for the family and friends of the life that was taken so tragically this week. For all the young lives that have recently been lost in our community. I can't imagine what it would feel like to lose one of my best friends. Seeing all this pain and hurt around me makes me want to be sure my friends know how much I love them and how thankful I am to have them in my life.
Tonight we had a memorial service of sorts for Jordan in the youth room at our church. There was worship music, scripture, and a whole lot of tears and prayers. So many people are grieving the loss of this life and it causes strange emotions to stir deep down in my heart. There are the obvious emotions: pain, sadness, grief, anger. Somehow I also have feelings of hope, love, and joy in witnessing how truly special Jordan was to everyone he came in contact with. Walking into the youth room tonight I could feel the sadness covering the room. You couldn't miss the sound of ripping tissues, sharp breaths, and sobs coming from every corner of the room. Adults and teenagers alike. Best friends and acquaintances grieving the death of a sweet friend.
Nothing could be said to mend the broken hearts tonight, but Dr. Weaver said something to the room that really resonated with me. He talked about the meaning of a "full life." What do you think of when you hear those words? Better yet, who do you think of? I'll tell you who I thought of - I thought of a lady in my church that means the world to me. She and her husband have been married seventy years and they are still an active part of our church. She is the one who witnessed to my grandfather and brought him to the Lord before he passed away from cancer. Although they never had any children, I know she gave the gift of life many times through word of God. I'll be forever grateful to her.
It just so happens that she is over ninety, but that alone is not what made her life so full. It's the lives she has touched and the glory she has brought to God's kingdom that make her life so full. Dr. Weaver tried to explain that it's not the number of years on Earth that matter, but what you do with those years. I had never thought of it that way. The love for Jordan in that room alone showed just how full his seventeen years on this Earth were. He lived a life of purpose - isn't that what we all want to work toward? I know I do. I want to live everyday as if it is the only day that matters. At the end of my life I can only hope I have lived a "full life."
Tonight I'm sleeping on a heavy heart. But first I'm saying extra prayers - prayers for people I know and people I don't. I'm praying for peace, comfort, and strength for them in the days ahead. I'm praying God wraps his arms around them and that they walk toward him and not away. Won't you pray too?