Monday, February 15, 2010


My heart weighs about a ton right now.

My Daniel and I have lived a lot of places in our life together. We’ve had the grand opportunity to meet and befriend more than our share of lovely people, many of whom will be cherished friends for the rest of our lives. Others we’ve met, while not bosom buddies, are valued acquaintances.

All contacts in life affect you in some way.

Well, over the weekend, I heard that one of those contacts, a former boss, took his own life.

He was my age, a newlywed, successful in his decent management position, possessed a sturdy constitution, prided himself on his logical thought processes…

But apparently, trouble occurred, and… there you go.

Questions ricochet back and forth through my head like ping-pong balls.

What could have been so bad?

What must his family be feeling?

Did he know God?

Did I ever talk to him about God?

Did I exemplify God in my own life?

Was I even nice to him?

Could I have made a difference?

On and on…

I know I’m not responsible for other people’s decisions. I know I’m not the number one factor in someone’s life, especially a passing acquaintance like this guy was.

But just as he factored into my life in some way, I did factor into his, no matter how minutely.

And that got me thinking.

Every day, our actions affect someone else. Our inaction does too… every day.

Whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not, from spouse to grocery store clerk, we make a difference in the lives of others.

We don’t know if the jerk who just cut us off on the highway is maybe in some sort of trouble.

We don’t know if the disgruntled receipt checker at Sam’s Club might have a tough road to tow at home – sick spouse, maybe?

We don’t know if that telemarketer is just trying to make a buck for her family.

I don’t think about people that way as much as I should. I mean, usually, I’m more concerned with how my day is going, how people are treating me, how my schedule is being affected by nice people or mean people, how I am feeling about my weight or the weather or the ladybugs invading my apartment.

I’m not a psychologist, I don’t know what sends people over the edge. But maybe, just maybe, a kind word from me can keep someone from going over one.

As bearers of God’s love-light, let’s shine.

It could be as easy as a smile, a phone call, a pay-it-forward kind of deed.

I know, we’re tired, busy, struggling with our own messes, shy or unwilling to pry… there are a million reasons not to shine. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy.

The good news, is we don’t have to depend on ourselves. (Col. 1:29) Ask God to shine through you. He’ll give you the energy, the right word, the eyes to see from someone else’s perspective. He can work through you to make someone’s day, if you’ll let Him.

If you’re as close to the edge as the person I knew was, please go to God because He loves you and has a plan for your life that you can’t mess up no matter how much trouble you think you are in as long as you surrender to His perfect will. If you don’t know how to do that, ask someone. A professional, pastor or counselor. Ask me. Just, don’t give up. Even if no one reaches out to you, reach out to someone.

Let’s make the effort to shine. The simplest gesture can block a slippery slope to the edge, loving people back to safety and security in the Name of Jesus.

Thanks for spending time with me on Dry Ground today! Have a blessed week!

(photos by


オテモヤン said...
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LynnRush said...

Oh my goodness, Lori. That's horrible news to get about your friend. I'm just so sad about that. Thank you for sharing this on the blog, though. It's a reminder for me to shine--show Christ's love in every situation I can...never know what that person is dealing with.

Susanne Dietze said...

Powerful story, Lori. Thanks for sharing it, for the reminder to shine God's light into the world. We never know what's going on in someone else's life.

I'm so sorry about your friend.

KM Wilsher said...

Oh, Lori. What terrible news. You must have some dark moments while dealing with this. I loved how you ended this post. What a great reminder for all of us. Know that we are with you and you are in our prayers. . . along with his family.

SarahtheBaker said...

I love this post....I feel like I can be so selfish so much of the time. Always wondering if I'm being perceived correctly, or if people notice the couple of pounds I gained while on vacation, or if they "like" me....Other people get lost....If we focused more on what we were seeing rather than what we worry others might see, life would be a lot more bearable to everyone. "He who waters, will himself be watered," right?
Thanks Lori!