TODAY IS THE DAY
© Paula Castner 12/2014
Today is the day I tell you how much I appreciate you for who you are:
for your part in my and my family’s life, whether small or large, near or far;
whether friend, teacher, neighbor, coworker, family member, or co-volunteer;
you have touched our lives, and for that, my thanks is most sincere.
I know I must tell you now because our ends are not ours to control.
Thrice in succession I have been given chances to see life as a whole:
how often we focus on the past or the future,
when now is the time for relationships to suture.
Today is the day to say, “I love you,” for there may be no tomorrow.
Today is the day to rejoice, for the next may bring deep sorrow.
Today is the day to forgive, because a hardened heart dies.
Today is the day to embrace, to draw near, to maybe compromise.
Today is the day to reach out to those who have made our lives different,
to thank the many whose handprints on our lives we best represent,
to think of a way to show gratitude to the people who have touched our hearts,
whom, whether for a moment or a lifetime, have in our lives played humble parts.
I know because I sat last week with tears streaming down my face
as yet another too young was swallowed by earth’s cavernous space.
The mother wept; the father struggled to hide his grief;
our hearts were broken as we wrestled with the disbelief.
Today is the day to tell someone how much he means to you.
Today is the day to act, to help a friend her dreams pursue.
Today is the day to cuddle on the couch, your child by your side.
Today is the day to celebrate, to commemorate, to love your bride.
Today is the day to ponder that “Death is just another path, one that we all must take.”
For only then will our lives be more than ruing many a mistake.
We must remember where our journey winds up in the end,
if we want truth, joy, peace, grace and love to fully comprehend.
I know because two months ago my daughter was in a terrible accident,
an event which we could not have foretold, let alone prevent.
Reality tore a hole in the bubble we had created,
reminding us yet again that we don’t know how our lives are fated.
Today is the day to weep with a friend for his sake.
Today is the day to laugh with the joy that makes stomachs quake.
Today is the day to pick up the phone and hear her voice.
Today is the day to heal wounds, extend that hand, make a loving choice.
Today is the day to acknowledge that we have been wrong;
that we have turned our backs when we ought to have been strong;
that we have hurt and been mean and resentful and bitter,
and forsaken the hard path of relational work and become a quitter.
I know because someone we love dearly has been in the hospital for a long time,
struggling to recover from pneumonia, his age making it a very long climb;
and we are wrestling with what our lives will be like if he doesn’t get well,
because the grief of losing him would be difficult to dispel.
Today is the day to hug and kiss and with our family be gentle.
Today is the day to choose compassion over being judgmental.
Today is the day to make that visit to fix your pique.
Today is the day to hunger, to search, and to seek.
Today is the day to think about what we want our lives to mean.
What is it that we want to leave behind when our last few breaths we glean?
We may not have a chance to say a final good-bye,
so we must ponder now what we should do to fix that which is awry.
I know because just before Thanksgiving a friend’s daughter had died.
“She was called home earlier than we would have liked,” we cried;
but she had wrestled with her cancer as bravely as anyone can,
and it was truly a joy to see how much she had loved in such a short span.
Today is the day to swallow our pride and actually apologize.
Today is the day to maybe submit in love instead of chastise.
Today is the day to recognize where our healing must begin.
Today is the day to challenge, expose and restore those hidden depths within.
Today is the day to remember that our lives matter, that we’re here for a reason,
as I was reminded by people around me this past Christmas season.
I saw for myself just how much I and we have been made to love,
by a God who shared His Son, the One who came from above.
I know because I had an experience which I could not have believed,
where wounds ages old were brought forth but with grace relieved.
As my mother and I wrestled with how we hurt the ones we hold most dear,
He intervened, revealing truth and light to make us each more humble and sincere.
Today is the day to bless, knowing that to give is better than to receive.
Today is the day to be that someone through whom peace can achieve.
Today is the day to let our hearts be transformed by grace.
Today is the day my gratitude and appreciation and His love I give you to embrace.
Today is the day I thank you for having been a part of a life I find complete:
with all its ups and downs, good and bad, my life has been and is so very sweet;
and whether friend, teacher, neighbor, coworker, family member, or co-volunteer,
for your part in my and my family’s life today I gratefully cherish and hold dear.
I WISH YOU A 2015 FILLED WITH JOY, PEACE, TRUTH, LOVE, AND GRACE!