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Your name is valuable II


FOR the past two weeks, we have been discussing how valuable your name is. We will continue on that topic today, but with a twist based on a sad event. Sunday morning, I got a call that a dear friend had passed away during the night. Consequently, this week has now been filled with various home visits, prayer services, planning the memorial, listening to those grieving as they remember her with fondness. These moments and memories are what prompted my article.


What will people say about you when you are gone? What legacy do you leave? As I have sat through many shared their personal stories of my friend this week, my mind drifted to asking myself these aforementioned questions.

Then, it drifted to something different. Peeking out from beneath my mandatory mask, I slowly scanned the room pondering what I would say about those familiar faces that my eyes landed on. Forcing myself to think deeply about the memories I held with each friend in the room, I began to replay various scenes of our interactions through the years.

One lady who sat nearby volunteered to keep my children two years ago so my husband and I could go on a trip to a speaking engagement in Harare. This same lady was the first to volunteer to bring my son and I food while we were in the hospital recently, and she was the first to call me when our friend died this week to suggest we organise meals this week for our grieving friends.

This lady owns a preschool, works tirelessly taking care of other people’s children. She is kind, patient, loving, and servant hearted – always willing to put aside her plans to find ways to serve others. Visits to her work (pre-coronavirus times) would normally find her wiping a runny nose, changing a dirty diaper, or patiently rocking a child to sleep. Visits to her home would frequently find her preparing a meal or preparing her home for a social gathering (pre-coronavirus times). This kind hearted saint has blessed me on countless occasions.

How many take her for granted? How many express their gratitude? She tells me countless stories of parents who refuse to pay their bills, of workers found to have cheated and stolen from her, or jobs she is forced to take in community and church groups because others won’t come forward and “someone has to get the job done”.

I know hundreds, if not thousands would testify positively at her funeral but how many have told her today?

Why do we wait for someone’s death to speak of their value? Why do we wait for someone to die to make time for them in our busy schedules? Why do we wait for someone’s death to give them the respect they are due?

This past week, after my friend died, many have come forward to bring meals, to say kind words, to leave work and come to prayer services. How many made the time to bless this dear soul during her lifetime? I know I am guilty! Many times I would think as she battled with breast cancer, “I should take her a meal. I should go check on her and pray with her since she is now spending most of her time at home.” But, I got busy. I did go a few times, but not every time I should have and now that opportunity has passed me by.

Friends, can I give you a strong word of encouragement as I heed the same counsel myself? Let’s make it a point to make the time to appreciate those who we value in our lives. Let’s make the time to say what we like and love about those special in our lives — I mean specifics. One thing I love about testimonies at funerals is the specific stories we hear about why we cherish these people. Yet, in life, we can just say “you are special to me.” Let the person know why they are special. What have they done that really blesses you? Don’t wait till their funeral and say it in a testimony that they will never hear. Tell them to their face today. Don’t wait till a funeral to take time to go sit at their house. Make time to spend with that person today.

I have thought of three people that I have been saying I will go/call to spend time with this week and make it a point to tell them why I love them dearly. Can you think of a few people you need to talk to/sit with this week?

Let me close with a Bible verse, James 4:14, to meditate on, “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow! What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Life is short. Let’s live it with no regrets and prioritise those we value in our lives.

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