I attended one of my close YL girl's mom's funeral today. It was heart-breaking. I stood by balling and watching as a father (who has never told his daughter that he loved her) embraced his daughter and said it for the first time as she laid balling on the casket. I prayed silently the whole time. Gabby's mom died un-expectedly a few days ago (in her sleep) and Gabby found her the next morning- all by herself. She has no siblings or close relatives nearby. It seems her diabetes had taken a turn for the worse. On a positive note, Gabby accepted Christ with me at camp last summer and has been walking with God ever since (which is sadly rare.) Therefore, she has hope in her grief and she knows that. I also have had a lot of time with her in these past few days and it has been sweet. And, after the burial, a bunch of YL, high school kids that were there followed me to my car (b/c we were all signing a huge poster board for Gabby.) It afforded me a great opportunity to talk to them about today. They were ripe for silence, perspective, reflection, meaning. And I took the opportunity to share with them how we need to take time every day for this, not just at funerals...b/c you never know. They agreed. Now if they heed this advice is one thing...but at least I got the opportunity to share. This whole thing has gotten me thinking a lot lately. Hence why I penned the following note to my YL donors a few days ago (see bottom.) I left that funeral today in tears. Yes, for my sweet friend, Gabby. But also as I myself reflected on life. I have wasted so much time b/c of my own insecurities and such. It saddens me deeply. I hurt someone very dear to me but I am grateful that he is happy now. And I too no longer want to miss opportunities. I want to live...even when it hurts. We all need too. And most importantly, I want to live out the great commission. That is what I am doing with YL. Will you help me?
Perspective – By: Corrie Cline, YL, 3/1/2010
It’s a Monday evening, about the time when most people are getting off of work and ready to head home to some well-deserved relaxation. But not me. I’ve spent the day running errands, getting ready for Young Life (YL) tonight, working on papers for my seminary credit/training for YL, bustling around YL office work, compiling all of my YL miles to turn in for some compensation, and taking care of a 16 year old girl that has just sadly and unexpectedly found her mom dead at home. Needless to say, I am tired. But it’s off to more work for me. I mentioned to a friend how I did not want to go to YL tonight. To which he replied, “But what a privilege! You have the distinct opportunity to witness to over 100 lost high school kids about Jesus at one time. Most Christians would die for that opportunity!” Wow! I had never thought about it that way. To me, YL has become just a job. And a job it is. However, in reality, it is also (and most importantly) a ministry of which I am privileged to serve. So tonight at YL, un-like usual, I sat in the back of the crowd (during the talk) and just took in what my friend had reminded me of earlier. Over 100, lost high school kids were here- quiet, and listening as a leader told them of the God of the Universe’s plan and love for them. Yes, we had a lot of fun (as we always do in YL), but more importantly, they got to hear the Gospel and respond. I witnessed so much “fruit” tonight. Perhaps b/c I was looking with different eyes. What you don’t see (when you go home tired at the end of the day) is what I get the privilege to witness every day…a lonely 16 yr old who just lost her mom and needs a friend; a 17 yr old girl who just found out that she has herpes b/c of her past, crazy lifestyle, but doesn’t want to tell her mom (only me) and is determined to change and does (and now leads Bible studies); a boy struggling with anger but having no man to lead him; a girl who wants desperately to quit drugs; a 17 yr old couple with a baby and trying to start a life in these circumstances; a girl who accepted Christ at camp last year and is desperately trying to live different than her “partying” friends, but is sad that b/c of that she doesn’t fit in. The list could go on. I attend funerals, Dr’s visits, games, sleepovers, and baby-sit their animals (all when parents sadly won’t or can’t.) And I know the Hope for them and get the chance to share it with them. Now that is some perspective.
I love battling the front lines in the ministry of YL, but can’t continue without your gracious support. Will you please continue to give or decide to do so now? So far I’ve made it 2 years on your support and there is such fruit from it! Thank you…it truly is making a difference! God is so good! And let’s remember, times may be shaky, BUT OUR GOD is the constant security and the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills! He will provide! Be blessed as you have blessed me! I thank God for you and pray for you daily, truly! Thank you for loving High School kids with me,
Corrie Cline ☺
Gabby is the girl on the left... :)