Light Notes

It still hurts to have failed God and Gloria

It had been in my “to-do” pile a couple of years back.

There it had sat with all my other good intentions — letters to write, stacks of photos waiting for albums, and ideas for newspaper columns that might tickle a funny bone someday.

Like everything else buried there, reconnecting with my high-school classmate was forgotten, too.

I can’t pinpoint how it happened, but somewhere between Gloria’s Christmas card a year earlier and our computer crash, she’d fallen off my radar screen. To contact her, I’d need to search for her address.

But I was busy. Very busy. The months flew.

Then, one day, my friend came to mind. Not once. Not twice. But again and again.

Still, I procrastinated. There were errands to run, deadlines to meet. As soon as I had time, I’d get a hold of Gloria. We’d catch up on life — later.

The thought to contact her had niggled, nudged, prompted. And then, it stopped.

So, in early 2007 when Gloria’s daughter called with the news that her mother’s breast cancer had returned — and now she was gone — I shouldn’t have been shocked. But I was, even though God had repeatedly tried to alert me that Gloria’s time was short.

Like I said, I had been busy. Very busy.

In the days that followed, time stood still as I grieved and reflected. The phone call had changed me.

I realized that instead of doing God’s will — a task specifically for me — I had selfishly pushed His request aside. I could only wonder how my words might have comforted Gloria’s heart as she faced certain death.

That’s something I won’t know on this side of heaven.

However, what I do know is this: When I feel a nudge to reach out and touch someone’s life — to be God’s arms of love or to uphold them in prayer — His request is not a “to-do.”

It’s a today.