Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Today Is the Day of Visitation!

I am in Florida this week, visiting my in-laws and my parents. Believe me. I do fully understand how blessed I am. After all, I am going to be 58 years-old myself this year, and, yet, I still have my mom in Portsmouth, NH, my dad and other mom in Venice, FL, and both my in-laws in Brooksville, FL, all now in their 80’s, are still healthy. So many of my friends and peers cannot say the same thing. On one hand, I realize I too may be the recipient of some great genetic material! Praise God! On the other hand, I am also aware that I could lose any of them, at any time.

I don’t mention this to be maudlin or depressing. That is not my point. My point is that, while we still have those we love (like I have all my parents), we should make sure of two things: #1 let them know we love them, and #2 spend time with them. Hence, my trip to the Sunshine State. I have not seen my Florida parents in five years, and it will be great to spend a couple of days with them. Is it a long drive? Sure. Is it worth the drive? Absolutely! 

I encourage you to do the same. Is there someone in your life that you love and haven’t seen or contacted for a while? Send them a card. Call them. There is this new thing called the internet too. You can email, Skype or Zoom someone. If you are able, visit them. Especially, those who are getting along in years. There will come a day when you will not be able to.

If there is some quarrel between you, as Elsa sang, “Let it go!” First of all, Jesus reminds us that our own salvation can depend on it. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). Secondly, holding on to a grudge only feeds bitterness inside. Holding on to such anger and resentment is like a cancer. It destroys us from within. Let it go. Mend fences. Offer that which you have received – grace. The Bible says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Colossians 3:12-13).

I have so many wonderful memories of my mom and dad growing up. Of my other mom over the last forty years. I know RenĂ©e does too of her parents, and we both understand, one day we will have only that – memories. They will always be treasured memories, but today, it is not time to be sad. It is time for me to continue to make new memories with a mom in New Hampshire and other parents in Florida whom I love.

The Bible says, “…the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). I say the same about those we love. Tell them! Contact them! Visit them! Don’t wait until all you have is regret. Do it now! To paraphrase Paul, “Today is the day of visitation.”              

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