Fingerprints

{The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit.} – Psalms 34:17-18}

In life there are certain moments where time stops. I haven’t had very many, maybe because I haven’t lived very long, or maybe because the moments I have experienced the feel of time standing still in my own life it was nearly too much to bear so my mind blocked it out, I don’t know. They can be good moments too the time-stoppers-great ones actually-ones that beg us to stay there forever. What I do know is that in the moments where we are simply left frozen, we change forever. They make us think about everything a thousand times over, even when the lightening doesn’t strike us directly but we’re close enough to feel the shock. The power of suddenly is a force to be reckoned with. In an instant the noise and hurry of the world is quieted and priorities come to the surface. It is because of the things that happen suddenly that we can suddenly see what really matters.

In my small speck of the universe, my tiny piece of the world that I often forget isn’t the whole world there’s been loss. Two deaths in one week, both were sudden, tragic, and unexpected a trio that is not easy for anyone to handle. The first I heard about was a car wreck in the middle of the day the other was a heart attack at work. The people that passed away were not exactly my people they weren’t anywhere near my inner circle but they were somebody’s somebody. The man who had a heart attack at work was in the family of my beloved mentor and the woman who died in the car accident worked at the hair salon I always go to.

I never met the man who’s related to my mentor, a married father of two who will no longer be coming home after work. As for the death at the salon, she had just done my eyebrows a few weeks ago. She did a really good job every time (I’m very particular about my eyebrows.) The one thing I remember most clearly is the first conversation I had with her. Up until a month or so ago the woman who cuts my hair would also be the one to wax my eyebrows. She was busy with a client one day so someone else volunteered. I told her I’m kind of a freak about the particular way I like them done and she didn’t seem to mind my slight OCD, she told me her name and right away I thought it didn’t match her image that was as tough as it was fun. “You need something a little more badass” I said, “like Shelia.” She smiled and told me; “well then I’ll call you Gemma.” She had to explain the Sons of Anarchy reference to me (I later found out that character is a badass, so thanks for the compliment.) The point to the only clear anecdote I can recall between me and the stylist from my favorite salon is that the loss of a familiar stranger was enough to get me to think about life and appreciate living all over again.

I didn’t really know her, but I know I really liked her. She was badass. I’m a huge fan of badass people, especially women. I knew her enough for her to leave an impression on my life, a fingerprint. I wondered about the impression I’d had on her or if I’d left one at all. Did I ever talk to her about anything that mattered? Did I ever mention God or how much I love Him? Did I say anything about Heaven or Hell? Or about how we never really die, we just keep on living in one of those two places for eternity? Maybe it was only my actions that spoke of Christ. I love going to that salon, a handful of stylists there I’d consider to be my friends and I know I’ve left a few fingerprints on some of them. I always do my best to carry hope with me. I wonder if the one I nicknamed Shelia picked up some hope from me. I hope she did. I won’t get another chance to mention Jesus now, in times of grief there’s often very little that can be said to provide a decent amount of comfort. From what I know about loss, I’d say it’s best to just be there for someone. Be there in whatever way you know how. It’s certainly been the saving grace on my end, having people to lean on when I can’t stand up by myself. The daughter she left behind who will soon be a mother herself has her people, those lovely ladies are her family, it’s nice to see people ban together in love. Sometimes the worst situations bring out the best in people.

The shock of how someone can be here one minute and gone the next had me seriously contemplating my people, my family, both blood and chosen, I’d hate to be without any of them. I was on the verge of calling all those I know and love just to remind them that I still care. Even those I no longer keep in touch with, I like knowing they’re out there living their lives doing well enough without me, and God loves them and is watching over them. Although death is no respecter of persons the fact that God is sovereign brings such great comfort and peace to my soul. It is true that death is only hard on the living but if you’re a person of faith like me, you know that death is not the end of life but only a part of it. The loss of these people is a reminder to make the impressions we leave on others count. Even the small ones, even the ones where you take ten minutes to get an eyebrow wax-that somebody is somebody’s somebody-they might need your hope that day or you might need theirs. Whether or not they matter to a person, every person matters to God. Don’t miss any opportunity to care. Every single soul is worth loving. Take nothing for granted. No one’s fingerprints are the same we all leave an original impression. “Our fingerprints do not fade from the lives we touch.”-Remember Me

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