"Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." (Matthew 18:5, NRSV)
IT WAS a beautiful March day in Southern California. It had rained over the weekend and the grass in the cemetery was emerald green. The skies overhead were a perfect blue background for the flight of nine doves overhead representing the life of the little boy we were laying to rest.
The service at the church had been emotional, but very positive with sharing from his skateboard coach, his doctor and a letter from his mom which was read by a family friend. After the singing of "The Lord's Prayer" by one of our city's police officers, I presented the eulogy using Matthew's account of Jesus' interaction with children. A brief slide show gave us glimpses into the little one's short life.
After a few closing remarks and a prayer we traveled to the cemetery where I shared a child's version of Psalm 23, and we released the doves. It was there, as the doves flew out of sight, that my wife overheard the conversation between a couple standing nearby.
He said, "I'm going to pick up the boys at school."
She said, "It's still too early. You go on back to work, and I'll get them later."
He responded, "No, I just need to go get my boys and give them a hug."
Lord, help me not to take a moment of life for granted. Help me use wisely my time with my family. In Jesus' name. Amen.
- DAVID BEARDEN, Fullerton, California