I opened up the editing pages of my website to write about something else, but then had a vivid remembrance of a young woman we got to know a little bit in Glasgow. She had turned up on our doorstep one day looking for a church and looking for God. We invited her in, chatted with her, and invited her to some stuff we had coming up. She came to a few of those events, just three or four occasions, and then there was a few weeks of silence.
The next knock we had at the door in relation to Anna was a young man. A friend of hers. He had come to tell us the news that she had taken her life a few days before. He knew that she had reached out to us to try and get some perspective on life, that she had been desperately trying, but ultimately had lost her battle.
This is around 16 years ago now and whilst I’ve occasionally remembered her, I remember her again today in the context of how pivotal not only our gospel message is, but also how pivotal our human connections are. We just never know what people are experiencing. Now, this young man was very quick to assure us that she’d never uttered anything but positivity and warmth from our interactions with her and wanted to assure us that, like him, there probably wasn’t anything else that could be done as far as he understood it. I certainly accepted his measured solace before going down the track of taking on any sort of blame.
Today, I still ask if there is anything else we could have done or said, or anything else we could have been for her. But more than that, I guess that experience, and others like it, serve as a reminder of looking at every individual in front of me as someone precious and loved, and of infinite value whether they are actively looking for our interaction, or the meeting is by accident or just the regular everyday interactions we have.
We see some people for only fleeting moments of their lives. We have it with in us to add what we can which may just help people before its too late and impact their lives for the good forever. Life is precious, it is also precarious and fragile most of the time. As the church, ‘life’ is our business, people are our business, and it is God who provides the resource to minister the best we can in all the ways we can. Who is God presenting to you today?