The following is an excerpt from Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends – Musings on Life, Scripture and the Hymns by Marty Magee. If you like what you read you can order the book or read more sample chapters.
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love.
Blest Be the Tie, John Fawcett, 1782
“Every time I see you it makes me happy.” We call him Spitfire. This five-year-old’s real name is Michael Gene. We’d come to the funeral of my aunt, his great-grandmother. The exuberant greeting came in the viewing room just hours before Aunt Alma’s funeral.
That evening at the family dinner, Spitfire sat in my lap and looked up into my eyes. “When you die, I’m gonna have you a funeral, and it’ll be a good one!”
Volunteering to plan your friend’s funeral may not be the best approach. But I knew this kid liked me and would do anything for me even to the death—my death!
I have another friend, Denise, who handles her affection in a more mature manner. Nevertheless, she never fails to show her fondness for those she loves.
When Denise was 17, she lost her mother, who had been sick for years.
“There was so much unfinished business,” my friend confided. “My mom always went to the hospital and came home. I wasn’t ready for her to leave for good.”
Denise knows from experience she may not have another opportunity to say goodbye or thanks or I love you. Sometimes she’ll call and say, “Marty, I just needed to hear your voice.” Or, “When can we get together? I’m missing you.”
Tactics and age may vary, but both of these friends know the importance of seizing the moment.
Though you may be quite capable of planning a rip-roaring funeral, why wait? Send a card or give a hug today. Bake a cake. Take your friend to lunch. Maybe for that extra-special person, you could just say it: “Every time I see you, it makes me happy!”
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Philippians 1:3 (KJV)