The Bible is pretty clear there are times for things, right times to do this or that and right times to do other things:
There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
What it isn’t so clear about is when those right times are. Sometimes, I sit with a problem and think, “Well, Jesus, is this the time to rip out or the time to mend?” And, yeah, I do wish He would audibly answer me. Wouldn’t that be convenient?
There are some things, one thing in particular, I think it is always the right time for.
A few weeks ago, my friend’s mother died unexpectedly. It was a shock to her family, to her mother’s friends and neighbors. Often, this is the case with death. There are car accidents and heart attacks you never saw coming and cancer found too late so it ravages a loved one before you know it’s there.
I knew my friend’s mother. She was a writer, like me, like my friend. We met once when I helped put together her classroom for a new school year. After that, we kept in touch via Facebook. I have the memoir she wrote on my shelf. We shared a love for words and she and my youngest son shared a love for music. Her stories of playing piano at an early age reminded me of my child who can hear a song and play it.
I want to tell you what it is always time for.
After this great lady passed away, I found myself scrolling through her Facebook feed, reading posts from people who loved her and will miss her. My favorite posts were from her students. One young man in particular wrote something that has stuck with me. He said he used to get in trouble in class and my friend’s mother would make him write essays about his infractions, silly sounding stuff like kicking the chair in front of him. That is such an English teacher punishment. It made me giggle. But the best part? My friend’s mother told him his essays, despite their odd topics, were very good. Had he thought about taking a journalism class?
This young man was writing on her Facebook wall to tell her he is now a Journalism major in college.
She changed the course of his life.
I cried, reading that. I wondered if she knew.
Friends, it is always the time to tell someone you love them. It is always the time to say, “You made a difference in my life.” It is always the time to make sure the people around you know they matter.
Because death is unexpected. You don’t know when it will be a time to die, but if you are breathing right now, then it is definitely a time to live.
It is definitely a time to love.
Who changed your life? Who made your last year bearable? Who said a kind word and helped your day get better?
Tell them now.
There is a time to say thank you, and that time is always today. That time is always right now.
*originally published on Middle Places