It's not something that anyone plans on doing, but especially not when you’re in your twenties.
You plan on weddings but you don’t plan on funerals.
You imagine the possibility of standing next to your friends as they pledge their lives and love to another, but you don’t imagine being a pallbearer for their funeral. You don’t plan on carrying the casket of your friend’s body to its earthly resting place.
We could not have imagined what this month would hold nor could we imagine how immensely grateful we would be for that weekend we all spent together in September. I’m sure you have those moments too; those moments that in retrospect, you are immensely more grateful for, that you taste the sweetness even more richly.
That warm September evening, when Bennett and Allison got married, was the last time those guys were all together. As the music played and groomsmen filed in, I sat by my husband who was leaning over and cutting up with John and Leland. Some things never change and the thought of that made me smile. It was also in that moment I was aware of just how extraordinary friendships like theirs are, especially amongst a bunch of dudes.
The wedding was the perfect excuse for a reunion of those eight knuckle-headed middle school boys who had grown into fine young men. There were hundreds of days and miles that had divided them since high school graduation but they’re the kind of friends that no amount of time or space chipped away at the friendships they’d build. Their strong bond and deep connection was palpable late that Monday morning when the call came in about Leland’s death. That afternoon as phone calls were make, breaking the news, each guy reflexively answered his respective phone on the very first ring.
We knew it was sweet sweet night, every single one of us there. We just didn’t know precisely how sweet that night was as we ate and drank and danced the night away.
And that’s how it seems to happen. We plan for, we anticipate and we know that there will be moments that are rich and full just as we anticipate and know that there will be moments of sorrow and pain.
But it’s often not until those moments are upon us that we are aware of just how sweet they are. Often it is not until we have lived the sorrow filled ones that we realize how sweet moments passed were.
So I’m looking out for those moments these days, the sweetest of moments.
The ones that we know deep in our souls are the sweetest of moments because of the amazement and delight we feel, with deep belly laughter and bright twinkling eyes.
Soak them in, eat them up.
Live in those moments with a fervor and audaciousness that only few know.
They are there. All around us. But you must be on the look out for them.
You must be ready for them when they present themselves.
You must be ready to step into them, to fully feel, and to know and believe that it is a God so gracious and good who gives them to us.