We’ve had a lot of loss surrounding us this past year, haven’t we? Some were expected and some were a total surprise. When I got the phone call that night from Alan about Spydr (one of our Pastors), I was completely shocked!
I never knew Spydr had any health problems. I guess I still don’t know today what really happened or if God just made up His mind that He needed Spydr home.
We all knew Spydr. He was a pretty humble man and, even if he had been sick, I doubt very highly he would have even spoke of it to anyone else.
That night, as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, I couldn’t remember if I ever told Spydr I Loved him. Sure, I’d probably said “Luv ya Brother” as we all do, but did he really know it was from my heart?
How many of you have ever lost someone and felt the same way? Did you tell them you Loved them? Did they know you truly cared… or were you simply just another person in their life?
Its kind of a wake-up call for us, isn’t it? Here we are today talking with someone we feel close to and… WHAM, tomorrow they’re not here anymore.
Spydr, spoke a lot at Sunrise Chapel. We all know his famous tagline, “Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!” Any time we would hear that phrase, we knew, that was Spydr!
I recall the times he would speak. I remember many of the Bible verses he would read from and, if my memory serves me well, it was usually about Love and kindness.
That gigantic man we all knew and Loved was really just a simple, humble and Loving man. Around Sunrise Chapel, his greatest Love was for his “Church Babies!” It was always bring him great joy when you all would bring the little ones to Church.
I would like to continue Spydr’s tradition this morning and talk a little more about Love (Loving One Another) and, his other passion, which was kindness.
Love One Another
Is there anyone here today that has lost someone dear to them and never really had the chance to say, “I Love you” or had taken for granted all that was really in your heart for them?
Are you living with regrets now because you didn’t say what you should have said? I know, for me, there are many.
I’d like to tell you about my Mother. She was a God-fearing woman that, not only Love her children, but anyone she came in contact with. She followed Jesus’ commandment to the last word.
- At my Football games – Nice catch… woo-hoo! Unfortunately, it was an interception, but she was there!
- As I grew-up – Always waiting until I got home, especially after a night of carousing with my buddies, but she was there!
- When I got married – Always calling… same conversations over and over again, but she was there!
I remember, it was very early on a Thursday morning when I got the call from my Sister, “Stephen, Mom is gone!”
“Gone,” I thought… what does that mean? Mom is ALWAYS there; she can’t possibly be “gone!” But she was, and my last phone call with her ending with that obligatory, “Love ya Mom!” Did I even mean it?
The ONE person in my life that truly Loved me; cared for me; and was always there for me… I took for granted!
Thankfully, by the time she passed, I had found Christ again… just as she had taught me my whole life… and through Him, she does know I Loved her.
But what is Love?
Jesus was always about Love. Jesus was always about compassion. How many people, throughout His Gospel, had he forgiven? The blind, the deaf, the crippled, the adulteress… the list goes on and on.
He taught His Disciples how they were to Love, which they (through the Gospel) have passed down to all of us:
John 15:9-12 – “9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. “
The truth is… Love is just a word until someone gives it meaning. If you’re not displaying Love… giving it freely to those around you (especially our Brother and Sisters in Christ), it is just another word.
But we, as Christians, should know this: You/Me… we are the meaning! Christ is in each and every one of us. He taught us… no, He showed us, the meaning of Love. It is our job, our duty, our responsibility… to share it with others.
There is a lot of hatred in this world. It surrounds us like Peter told us…
1 Peter 5:8 – “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
We need to have Love in our hearts at all times. We need to express it openly to all around us so that “roaring lion” that Peter talked about can never take us away from our mission!
I would also like to share with you two expressions that I’ve heard. They really do speak the truth and we should understand them and remember them every day of our lives.
- Hate destroys the vessel its kept in!
- Revenge never healed a wound!
It’s easy to hate. It’s easy to be vengeful and filled with spite. Some people admire your “toughness.” You can get along with “tough.” Some will people even respect you more. Not what Spydr would have spoken about and definitely not what Jesus taught us!
Love one another always… and never leave room for regret when someone we do Love, but held something against, is gone!
Loving with Kindness
So, how do we Love? We can’t certainly, in this world, go around hugging and kissing our friends, right? That just wouldn’t fit into today’s society. So, again, how do we Love?
As I mentioned, Spydr also talked about kindness. He knew it was a HUGE part of our Christian nature and who we are supposed to be.
It isn’t easy to be kind to everyone around us, is it? And just how are we to show kindness, even to people we don’t even know?
Have you ever found yourself in a particular situation where you felt you should do something nice but just didn’t do it?
I need to tell you something, God put you there for a reason. GOD DOESN’T MAKE MISTAKES! God knows what He is doing!
The Last Cab Ride – A Taxi Driver’s Story
This is a short story about an elderly woman’s last cab ride, from the driver’s own words…
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick-up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.
“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice.
I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knick-knacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”
“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”
“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.
“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”
We drove in silence to the address she had given me.
It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse. “Nothing,” I said. “You have to make a living,” she answered. “There are other passengers.”
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
Somewhat sad story, don’t you think? I hope you got the meaning behind it. Always leave your heart open to Love and kindness. We need to understand… a single word or words… your words, could be what keeps someone moving forward!
Letting people know you care, has more power than you realize… be free with your compliments.
- The power to lift them up!
- Get them out of a slump!
- Make them feel Loved, or cared for!
- Make them feel like THEY MATTER
Watch this Lesson
If you Love them, tell them. If you don’t, they may never know. Don’t leave room for regret. If they do get called home, know that you had let them know all that you feel inside… how much you Loved them!
Be kind… be humble and compassionate. If you find yourself in a situation where you can do good… do good! God put you there for a reason… and He NEVER MAKES MISTAKES!
Be kind, be Loving. Walk humbly, with your God.