25 April 2010

The Gift of Today

For the last couple of weeks I have really been reflecting on the gift of each day. Two Monday's ago a family I know lost their 17-year-old son suddenly and tragically as a victim in a violent crime and since that day I have found myself much more pensive and thoughtful about each day that we are given and how we use that gift.

This young man, Eric, made an obvious impact on so many lives. As news that he was in critical condition after being shot by burglers in his home reached the community, friends and family began to flock together seeking ways to comfort and be there for one another.

When it became obvious that Eric would not recover from this incident, and as his family made the decision to give life to others by donating his organs, the circle of supporters grew even larger and a memorial was organized for and attended by hundreds of youth from church and school who felt the impact of this tragedy.

Then, when Eric's life on this earth was no more, visitation and funeral services brought hundreds and hundreds of people who in some way had felt the impact of this one life.

The funeral was a powerful experience. Despite the intensely overwhelming sadness of losing such an amazing young man, the Lord's Spirit was even more intense and love and hope wound their way into the hearts of everyone there.

The eulogy delivered by his older brother was beautiful, the scriptures shared by his sister who was also at the house during the shooting were powerful, the excerpts of letters written by family members about Eric and read by his oldest sister were joyful, and the message of Christ's love and the power of His Atonement for each of us that was shared by his bishop (and my dad) brought hope to all.

Eric's swim coach also took part in the funeral service and shared the quote, "you can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples that will come from one seed in that apple."

And so, I have been reflecting. There is no way to tell the impact that each of us can have on any given day. We all interact with countless numbers of individuals, in a variety of experiences and situations. Some people we know, some we don't. Some situations are positive and happy experiences, while others are trials from which we must grow.

The question I ask myself as I think about the obvious impact that this one young man had at the age of 17 on such a diverse range of people from varying age groups, ethnicities, races, and religions is this:

What am I doing today to make a difference?

And with this question in my mind and in my heart, I hope that I will continue to be more aware of "the gift of today."

4 Cheers (not Jeers!):

Jenny said...

This could not have been put any more eloquently. Thank you for sharing.

Bobbi said...

Beautifully written, Kirsten. Brought lots of tears to my eyes because what you said was so true.
Now, if I can just apply it to my life! ♥

Lois Brown said...

This is a lovely post! Thanks for sharing it with us!

andi said...

Yeah, ditto. I feel/felt the exact same way- but you wrote it so much better than I would have :)

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