Brevity of Life

 “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” Bob Pierce

According to Wiki 250,000 to 300,000 people die each day. Those figures are mind boggling to me.

Someone’s heart is breaking on a continual basis, lives are changed forever, and at times… families are even torn apart because the grief is so unbearable.

I don’t pretend to know the heartache of losing a child. I have lost my grandparents, my dad, aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends. I understand death is a part of life and to lose a loved one hurts us deeply, yet every death is someone’s child.

As you know, this week alone three celebrities have died, as have hundreds of thousands of others not mentioned, many of whom we have very little knowledge. It saddens me to watch the news and see the reactions of some of the populace, especially those who are trying to profit from the death of another, or who slander their names.

We are all sinners, we have all made mistakes. Most of us are fortunate enough not to have our sins on the five o’clock news, plastered on the web, or in every printed paper or magazine on the rack.

If I were a celebrity and had died about 32 years ago, the headlines about me may have read something like this…

Janice (previous last name here)…dead from alcohol poisoning and drug overdose. Remembered by her children as one who didn’t pay them enough attention, yelled too much and was too wrapped up in the hurt of her past to deal with her present. (That would be the ‘toned down’ version) Not very flattering is it?

The thing that is different for me is that God spared me, he allowed me time for repentance. He put people in my life, whose friendship I accepted, who taught me “a more excellent way.”  He allowed me time to leave behind my life of sin, of hate and un-forgiveness. Some people never find a way out of their pain and others look in all the wrong places.

I ask you… say a prayer for all the families who are grieving today, whose hearts are breaking. Pray especially that you will be the light for someone else, someone that does not know the joy of having a Savior. Reach out to them; share your hope with them.

You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” Ps 39:5

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Eph 4:32

5 comments for “Brevity of Life

  1. June 29, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Janice, I came back to this blog and read it again and your rendition of your obituary. I am awe-struck that you can verbalize what your past was like, and I am also in awe of your metamorphosis into a Christ follower. Your daughter’s note was so sweet. Often, our actions ARE motivated by hurts that we just can’t deal with. In attending the funerals over the weekend, as I often do, I wondered what preachers and friends would find to say about me. If I preached my own funeral, it would be something like: “Judy Poyner, a failure in relationships, given to much excess in many areas of life, extravagant, two-faced and a fair-weather friend when young, haughty with absolutely no reason to be, replaced TIME spent with parents with money, gravely misused God’s material blessings, greatly tempted by the world’s view of what beauty is, and one who was easily swayed by lust.” In quoting a friend of mine some years ago, he said, “Now, I didn’t say I didn’t have any good qualities!” 🙂 We all do. But in recent months, I’ve come through a time of really beating myself up and grieving over choices I made many years ago. With much prayer and study and the help of good friends (Dee, for one), I’m on the other side of it.

    Since you have been so honest about what you perceive as your past weaknesses, I wanted to share mine with you.

    Judy, you are such a ray of sunshine!
    Isn’t it marvelous we now have the blessings of a savior? We can hurt over our past failures, and rejoice that we are making progress in leaving them behind and maturing in Christ. We can’t undo our pasts, however, we can hope in our futures and encourage others to do the same, and I know you do. I love you my friend!

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me.

  2. Amy
    June 26, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Mom, 32 years ago I was almost 5. Your headline would NOT have read the way you posted it! You don’t give yourself enough credit. It would have been more like, “Janice, passed from a broken heart. Remembered fondly by her daughters as a warm, loving and funny friend who always protected them, even at her own expense. Yes, sometimes she yelled loudly, but mostly she laughed heartily and gave a little piece of herself to everyone she met.”

    Amy, you are so loving and sweet to me. I was pretty much ‘cleaned’ up when you were 5, and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful too that your memories are mostly good. You have always brought me such joy and happiness. I thank God for you and your sisters. I love you!!

  3. June 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Besides the 3 ‘celebrities’ who have passed from this life in recent days, I have learned of 3 others within my circle of family and friends. There are many to pray for…….

    And don’t let Greg kid you. Yes, he and his family make a living at what they do. But they are in the business as a ministry. I do not know of a kinder, more tender-hearted funeral director than him and his family.

    I will be praying too Judy.

    I have gathered that Greg and his family are a huge blessing to the community and that they are a great comfort to the families who walk through their doors.

  4. Karla
    June 26, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Oh Janice, this one really hit the mark.
    God’s AMAZING GRACE is still our only answer.
    I am so thankful for His patience with Les, for him to finally accept THE GIFT. Actually, I am so thankful for His patience with me, and I know His timing is perfect.
    I’m on my way to Grove see you when I return.

    Thank you.

    We have so much to be thankful for. Love you Karla, see you when you get home.

  5. June 26, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Very good thoughts, Janice. But the sarcastic side of me has to say go easy on that comment about trying to make a profit from the death of another. Being a funeral director and working for our family owned mortuary, that’s our living! 🙂

    Greg, I love your sarcastic side and I even thougt about your business when I posted this. Actually I was referring to the ones printing T-shirts and selling them outside the hospital where Michael Jackson had been. 🙂

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