Rest in peace, my friend

My friend passed on to the other side yesterday. Way too young: 37 years old–leaving children behind, heartbroken parents, and a future with every possibility.

I call him my friend–and he was my friend–but our relationship was based on business. Oh, we would inquire about family–maybe share a story of something special that had happened in our lives–but business demanded that we stick to the task at hand. We were busy. Real busy. No time for chit-chat.

We met for discussion the day before he died. Maybe I could tell there was something a little off with him. Maybe. I’ve gone back over that meeting a hundred times in my mind. I wanted to inquire deeper, to go further on a personal basis than our business relationship allowed. But I didn’t. I held back. I didn’t want to offend him, or to come off as being nosey. We parted with our customary “Thank you,” to one another “see you soon.”

Friday morning came the news: He is dead. He is gone.

I went to his office. His normally open door was closed. No one there. I slipped a note underneath, “May His arms hold you . . .  Shalom.” And I promised myself that I would never, ever let business stand in the way of my compassion and concern for another human being again. Never.

[S]ome things are more important than business. The world is concerned about the global economy, when what we really need to be concerned with is loving one another. If we did that, just that one thing . . . the world’s economy would take care of itself.

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing (1 Corinthians 13: 1-3)

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