You’re dying. No, really. You are. We all are. But what if you were dying… now? What if you only had five minutes to convey your last message to those you love most?
Just a “time out” before death to write the one message that fills your soul.
This was an exercise at last year’s retreat. Sitting in the warm, cozy living room of The Barn nestled in the mountains of Appalachia, this wonderful Christian retreat center has become my happy place. I look forward to returning almost before I leave. Once a year—I pray I always get to come.
So with low lights, curled in the corner of the couch and laptop open, I waited for the instructions. Writing it came easy. I knew exactly what I wanted to say. The words flowed from the moment our leader issued the challenge.
Around me, pens scratched, laptop keys clicked, pages rustled. Each person had something to say. But then it happened.
I broke down and bawled.
Couldn’t read my own words because they tore at my heart. Those I want to hear these words the most may never read them, but I’ll keep praying… keep loving… keep trusting that Jesus can carry the burden because it breaks me when I try.
I suspect we all have something like that—something we ache to say to someone. Something that burns in our hearts and our souls. I’d prayed about these things for months—a year or more. But somehow writing them and seeing those words on the “page” drove home the near-desperation I felt in sharing them.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the time has come for them to be received. But that time, I trust, will come. Eventually.
In the meantime, I leave them here for two reasons.
- Because if I am wrong, if it is the right time, I know the Lord can and will direct those who need to see them to them.
- I can’t be the only one who has something burning in her heart. I leave them here as transparent vulnerability—as an encouragement. Write it out. Even if you never send it, even if it’s rejected, share with someone. The prayers and support of those who love you do beautiful things when the Lord holds them in His hands.
So what did I write?
Here it is. Unedited. Just as I “penned” them that cold, autumn evening with a room full of godly, supportive writers sharing their “five minutes of encouragement.”
If you do nothing else, seek Jesus. All the education, all the travel, all the family-ness is only window dressing to the real world out there—Jesus. Know Him. [clickToTweet tweet=”Grasp His words in the Word and make them so much a part of yourself that you can’t possibly be divorced from them.” quote=”Grasp His words in the Word and make them so much a part of yourself that you can’t possibly be divorced from them.”] Your grades can fall. Borders can close in an instant. Family, wonderful and beautiful as it is, can’t save you. But with Jesus there is true life.
And know you were loved—are loved. More than I ever knew how to show or express.
I believe this is true of everyone.
Someone out there loves you—cares about you. Someone out there is aching to see you fully embrace the Lord and only Him. Even if that someone is only me.
Because you know, I do—care, that is. I’m not good with the emotional stuff, I fail in my attempts to support, and I’ll probably hurt your feelings at some point. Alas, I have a particular talent for that. Why do we always get the talents no one, including ourselves, wants?
But it’s true. As I said on my bio page:
It means I care–about you. About your walk with Jesus. I care about the words you put before your eyes, the mental pictures those words conjure. It’s difficult to express just how much I love my brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s difficult to share just how much I love you.”
And I mean every word of it. I care.