This afternoon I will be leading worship at an assisted living facility and will be using this passage and an adapted meditation on that reading. So beyond Sunday in church, I continue to process these words.
Yesterday I visited a woman in Newton who had landed at the hospital after two emergency runs at the end of last week, returning home each time. Sunday night – as I told her – “they decided you were so nice that they determined to keep you for a while.” I arrived shortly after 2 in the afternoon. She was happy to see me and told me she had just received some bad news – she needed valve replacement surgery. This was to be scheduled at Mass General, and the doctor told her she’d be back by 11 this morning to let her know what she had found out about making a date. We visited for a while and then shared a prayer before I left, asking God for courage, for skillful medical personnel, and for a quick scheduling so she could get on with recovery. And we prayed as well for her sons. Before I left I leaned over and kissed her.
Today I am glad for my last minute thought to extend that kiss. This morning I received a phone call that she had died. It was unexpected and stunning news. As I continue to process I find myself confronting the text once more: “…can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” I think not. What we can do, is show, share, and give love, one moment at a time.