The other day I was privileged to participate in a two-day activity for our church youth group called Youth Conference. Over the course of those days there were many activities, from physical to spiritual.
One of those activities involved a partner. Everyone in the room partnered with someone else. We stood facing each other, within about half an arms reach. Then we followed instructions as led by the speaker. The last instruction really got me. "Look this person in the eye and imagine what you would say to them if this were the last time you were ever going to see them. Tell them."
I was caught off guard by the emotion this evoked in me. My partner was a lady from our neighborhood who has become a good friend of mine. She has been supportive and understanding in a way most people aren't. She truly cares about me and doesn't hide it. She is genuine.
And in that moment I truly thought about losing her. My eyes welled up with tears. I had difficulty speaking clearly. And I thanked her for touching my life. If we were never to see each other again, I would want her to know she made a difference. And I am grateful.
I am grateful for many things. I live in a time and place where most of life's basic hardships aren't a factor. I have food, shelter, heat, money, a bed, clothes, electricity, clean running water, access to health care. I have so many things that so many people in the world don't have. And I am grateful for those things, even though I don't notice them most days.
But what I do notice are the people in my life. I notice them every day. I feel their impact every day. They shape who I am. They enrich my existence. They are the whipped cream that makes my life sweeter. They are the duct tape that keeps me together when I am falling apart.
I am incredibly blessed to have had so many wonderful people touch my life at one time or another. And I am grateful for all of them. For the ones who are still around and the ones who just passed through.
To all of you -- thank you for touching my life. I am better for it.