We received word today that a dear member of our church died in her sleep last night. Marie-Marthe was a longtime member of our church in Petite-Anse and involved in the choir and many other activities. We are grateful for her memory and she will be sorely missed. Sadly, she had not been well for some time and left behind two young children and her husband. I just spoke with her after church on Sunday and prayed with her. What a surprise to learn today that she had slipped into eternity!
Anyone who pastors knows that, as a church, there are many times that we rejoice together. But we mourn together too. But, even in this, these times of suffering serve to strengthen the bonds between us as we reach out to minister to those parts of the body that are ailing. Death often helps us put life in perspective. It’s a constant reminder that our days are numbered too. Perhaps John Wesley had this thought in mind when he made the following statement: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” I believe this a good motto to live by and it directly correlates with Galatians 6.10 which states, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
What will we wish we had done if we found ourselves suddenly stepping over the brink into the next life? There are so many opportunities to use our goods, our talents, and our compassion to lift the heavy burdens off of others that are less fortunate than ourselves. And while this post may seem a bit melancholy, I hope you will take a few moments to remember Marie-Marthe’s family in prayer today. I also hope you, the reader, will ponder what you can do to help alleviate the suffering of others by doing all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can.