Well Spoken Friend

Proverbs 22:11 (MSG): "God loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken; good leaders also delight in their friendship".

I've been to two funerals in the past 30 days. Both were celebrations of life. Both served as a reminder to me that our time on earth passes so quickly and we must take time to nurture our relationships with friends.

I've known Gordon since I moved to Highlands Ranch in 1995. He served our Highlands Ranch community tenaciously. He was a professor at DU, a leader involved in numerous facets of community volunteerism, a great husband, father, and was awaiting the arrival of his first grandchild. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2011 and wanted to beat the disease and did what he could to do so. I worked side-by-side with Gordon on the Development Review Committee for HRCA for the past several years.

Following our February meeting, our committee members spent time sitting and listening to Gordon as he shared from the heart what he was experiencing as he battled this medical diagnosis. As I reflect on that moment in time, I wonder if I spent enough time really listening to his heart. We were all in denial that he was going to die and his courageous words gave us strength to help him fight for his life.

It was only a few weeks later that Gordon died. He left the world a better place because of how he lived his life in service to others.

Lesson learned from my dear professor friend: Always make time to listen. When you have many appointments and tasks getting in the way of listening, you may miss the divine appointment that God made for you. I will miss Gordon. His words resonate in my heart and I wish I could go back and listen again, but it's too late.

Listen carefully. That's what I learn from death. While our lives on earth are only temporary, each and every servant moment is one to be cherished. Don't let them slip away because sometimes you don't get another chance.

Dear Jesus, help me to listen better. Help me to be a better friend to each person that crosses my path today. It's just another divine appointment awaiting my arrival. Amen.

Carole Schumacher


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