One of my favorite things to do every weekend is watch “CBS Sunday Morning.” The news magazine, narrated by Charles Osgood, features stories about entertainment, art, food and music, along with profiles of celebrities and everyday people.
This past week centered on a Portland, Ore., woman named Jackie Hooper, who has made it her life’s work to help people recapture a moment that had passed by.
In 2009, Hooper began collecting letters through her blog from these folks, allowing them to share thank-yous, regrets, feelings and secrets, including her grandfather who survived the Holocaust and never got to thank the couple that hid him and saved his life. The outpouring of emotion compelled Hooper to publish them in book form, aptly titled “The Things You Would Have Said: The Chance To Say What You Always Wanted Them To Know.”
CBS aired this segment about Hooper in light of all the visible tragedy that happened in Boston, Mass., and West, Texas. I say visible because the media spent considerable time relaying news about the four people who perished because allegedly a pair of brothers bombed the Boston Marathon and 14 people who perished as a result of a fertilizer plant explosion.
But what about the tragedy that happens every day in every corner of the globe? It is not readily visible to you and I, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t occurring. And believe me, tragedy occurs in our own communities right here in northwest Oklahoma. Just read the obituary section of this newspaper or listen to your co-workers.
This weekend is the annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. The run is to remember the 168 who perished in the bombing that fateful day in April 1995, to honor their memories and to celebrate those who survived and the loved ones who were left behind with changed lives.
There is a lot of hurt in this world. I know there is obviously physical pain, but we also injure each other verbally and emotionally, sometimes without intending to. We spear and spar each other, wounding deeply, leaving unseen festering sores and battle scars. Healing doesn’t come easy for most of us; and until we seek treatment, the regrets, the anger, the secrets stay buried under the surface.
For some of us, there comes a day when that person who we loved, or loved to hate, is no longer available to seek out, to share with, to forgive or to begin the transforming healing process.
So here’s the deal. Now is the time. Now is the time to say what needs to be said. Don’t you dare wait another minute! We are not guaranteed tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1, Luke 12:19-20, James 4:13-14). We aren’t even guaranteed the next hour. You very well could walk out that door for the last time.
I’m only halfway through William Paul Young’s latest novel “Cross Roads,” but if I’ve learned anything from his testimony, don’t wait until it’s too late to make amends.
Today, strive to build and strengthen your relationships with other humans and with God. Today, tell that person closest to you how much you love him or her. Today, track down that teacher who inspired you and thank him or her. Today, call up your brother and say you are sorry you’ve not talked in years. Today, sit down with your daughter and explain to her why you’ve made the choices you have. Today, start fresh and be honest and transparent with those around you.
Today is the time to get real — with yourself, with others, with God.
One of my Facebook posts says “Tomorrow: A mystical land where 99 percent of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.”
My hope for you is that you know, without a doubt today, you’ve done everything within your scope of control to be at peace, so there will be no roads of regret, no mystical land of wishing, no “if only” or “what if.”
“You do not know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” — James 4:14
Follow Ruth Ann Replogle on Facebook at http://www.face book.com/pages/Just-Hold-On/419800328081972 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.