Written by Starry Heinze.
About three years ago I came to the conclusion that we are gifted from the Lord. Yes, that is correct. We are all gifted – me, you, and the person next to you. My husband and I now live in Colorado, but Les grew up in Michigan, I grew up in South Carolina, and for our entire married life, we have lived far away from our families. We fly to see them when we can, or drive the 1800-mile distance. But time, distance, and travel costs have prevented us from seeing our families as much as we would like. Long distance phone calls were not always as affordable as they are today. The relationships with my mother, grandmother, and aunts always required a long-distance phone call. But I always felt these relationships were too important to neglect, and we still talk on the phone.
Two of our children grew up in Colorado, but a third child, Clint, went home to be with the Lord when he was three months old. Even though Clint’s passing was according to God’s plans, it took us completely by surprise and happened without any warning. His passing put us on a path of grief and learning to accept God’s will even when it does not match up to our plans. I think little Clint’s passing put me on the road to recognizing “the gift.”
When one of our sons lived in Denver, he and I would meet for breakfast every Saturday morning at various restaurants. We greatly enjoyed these times together as we talked about life, faith, and philosophy. These were opportunities of “life impacting life.” We all impact someone with our life whether we recognize it or not. Each time I left my son at his apartment, I would be so encouraged in the Lord that I had seen my son one more time, said I love you, and planned to meet the following Saturday. I rejoiced in Christ all the way home. I thanked the Lord for one more time to be with one of my children, one more time to give a hug when I left, one more time to tell him I loved him, and to tell him he was always in my prayers. I always reinforce unconditional love with my children.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.”
No conditions are mentioned in this verse regarding God’s love towards the world, me, or you.
Over time, I began to praise God for the blessing of allowing me to visit with our daughter, my mom, or distant friends. My heart was so full of thankfulness to the Lord I came to call it “the gift” from the Lord, and to recognize that you and I are gifted. Each time we can see, touch, or talk to the people we love we need to recognize each event as a gift from the Lord.
I hope that you also will recognize the gift of relationships in your life. The people you love and hold dearly are so important. You see, should they pass into eternity, the opportunities to express your love to them and to have that “gift” from the Lord is gone until you see them again in heaven. We need to recognize that they are a gift from the Lord and that every time we have contact with them we are receiving this gift. We should nurture these relationships and recognize them as gifts from Christ.
This article was published in the Winter 2009 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine. Starry Heinze is married to Dr. Les Heinze, pastor of Red Rocks Baptist Church in Morrison, CO. They have two grown sons and a third child in Heaven.
To contact Starry, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook.