This past weekend was a bit sad. Last Thursday a new friend of mine, Tony, from Tijuana, Mexico was hit and killed on his motorcycle, and Saturday night was his wake. Tony was a very young (38 years old) man, who was energetic, positive, and a blessing to all who knew him. I went with another good friend of mine to the wake there in Mexico. It was a time in which we were able to pay respects and condolences to family and friends there.
While at the wake, I had the opportunity to just observe people’s interactions. People were hugging and holding each other, crying and laughing, looking at pictures, and sharing memories of Tony’s impact on others and the sweet memories they will cherish of him. I was struck by how much this wake seemed to awaken a connectivity of a community of people, through this young man’s life. For some reason a wake really awakens us to our deep feelings of love and appreciation for someone we have lost. How beautiful it would be to see our world truly awakened and filled with the genuine care, concern, and connection that was felt in that building, not just for the lost or departed, but even more so for the living.
This wake also awakened something else in me… a recognition. In my line of ministry and work, I often allow life’s experiences to cause me to consider the children I work with and how they would relate. I recognized at this wake, that many of the beautiful children throughout Latin America who are without home and family may never have a wake. These precious kids may never have people who mourn their departure from this earth, nor have people cherish the memory of them. Even sadder, these kids may not be valued while they are still alive. Many of the children will never be considered lost, because they are not even valued or appreciated while they are here on the earth.
It’s sad to me that sometimes it takes death to bring people together, to awaken our memories and senses to appreciate the value of someone. It is even sadder to me that some children will never have the opportunity to have security, stability, and community on earth, and much less will never receive a wake to remember and cherish them. This wake of my friend, Tony, has awakened an urgency in me again to really fight for the multitude of children who have no one to love and cherish them. I pray that God uses all things necessary to awaken each of our hearts and lives to be more involved in loving someone who finds themselves unloved today! Let’s not wait for a wake for this love, compassion, mercy, grace, and purpose of God to be awakened within us!