I Miss This Girl

I miss this girl.

(I have no idea why Blogger posted the picture twice and it won't let me delete..so enjoy it twice ;)

Today marks 8 months since she went to be with the Lord. I rarely look at this picture because it almost shocks me, if that makes sense, but it's one of my favorites. I think it captures her so well.

I keep thinking I should be "over" it by now - I don't know why - but, I'm not. And I don't think I ever will be, and I think that's okay. There isn't a day that passes that several times something doesn't remind me of her. So much of my thinking and growth was impacted either by her directly or she was simply there along the way. As a wise woman just told me, who shall remain nameless because I didn't ask her permission, Summer embodied Jesus to me in many ways. She was human and she wasn't perfect and we had issues now and then, like everyone does (and they were usually my issues...I'd be nervous to read her journal :) but, her friendship brought incredible healing to my soul. And a hole like that isn't quickly or easily filled, and may never really be.

That may sound hopeless, but it's not. I heard a well-known pastor recently talk about death and grieving and he made it sound as though we should just be joyful when a loved one goes ahead of us to heaven. Almost as if we should feel bad for grieving because it means we lack faith. I wanted to slap him for putting such a pharisaical load on the shoulders of those that follow his ministry (in my opinion).

The Bible says we don't grieve in the same way that those who have no hope do...not to the same degree or proportion. We shouldn't be overtaken by grief, but it does not say we don't grieve. It's just that our grief is tempered by the hope of eternity.

The day will come when all tears will be wiped away, there will be no more death and mourning for the old order of things will have passed away. He will make all things new.

We will see Summer again and all others who have gone ahead to be with the Lord. We will laugh, talk, remember, live.

I look so forward to that day. In the meantime, I really miss her.


Who Is My Neighbor?

"Now an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 

He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?” 

The expert answered, “ Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind , and love your neighbor as yourself .” 

Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 

But the expert, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  

[Jesus then tells the familiar story about the "Good Samaritan," then asks the "expert,"]

"Which of these three do you think became a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”  

The expert in religious law said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” 

So Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” (Luke 10:25-29, 36, 37 NET)
***not the point of this post but note that this directive is connected to the man's original question about inheriting eternal life. Not a small detail***

I find this so interesting, especially in reading this translation. It brings out something I've never seen before. The expert asks who his neighbor is, implying that there are some who aren't considered neighbors. Some he doesn't have to love. He wants to know where the line is, perhaps.

Where can I draw the line?

Jesus tells the whole story about the Good Samaritan and then asks not, who was the neighbor in this story, which might have directed attention to the injured man on the side of the road (which is how I've always read this for some reason) but who BECAME a neighbor? It's not so much that I didn't see this truth before, but I've not paid attention to the way Jesus asked the question.

The question isn't who is my neighbor, but to whom will I become a neighbor? Will I be a neighbor? Will I choose love? 

Every question we have always seems to come back around to us...to the condition of our own hearts.

Jesus, which of these people am I required to love? The answer, are you willing to love them all?

Who of them is my neighbor? Are you willing to be a neighbor first?

What about that person over there? What about you?

What must I do to be saved? Give up anything that hinders love.

I hope we are willing because Jesus said, now that you understand what is required, "Go and do likewise."