I didn't know James very well.
I thought I had time.
I'm always so busy on Sunday mornings, people to connect with, t's to cross and i's to dot.
So busy that often a wave or a smile was all I had for James and the kids who came with him.
James lived a life I know nothing about.
I have parents who loved me and nurtured me. He didn't.
I have family that I can call my own, or call when I need them, or call just to laugh and reminisce. But James made his own family. A group of people who knew him and those who didn't know him so well, and Jesus.
James. A kid finally on his own two feet, earning his own way in life, making plans and grabbing his dreams with both hands, died this weekend.
In the wrong place at the wrong time. A shooting. One minute he lived to make the world a better place and the next he crossed over into a better place.
What do we do with moments like this, when all the lace and frills have been ripped off the walls of our blinders and we see this world for what it really is, brutal...
I think James would hope we'd open our eyes to the blinding reality and turn to the truth, hope and peace we can find in Jesus.
But I can't answer for James. I didn't know him very well.
Maybe his short life is a call for me to leave i's undotted and t's uncrossed when it means I can use that time to know people -- while there's still time.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.