Listen to episode 332 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Make Every Moment Count | Unexpected Farewells. Edited an adapted from Week-day Religion by James Russell Miller. A special sample episode from our patron series Our Sunday Talks.
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Today’s reading was edited an adapted from Week-day Religion by James Russell Miller, published in 1880.
Every hour there are partings, thought to be only temporary, which prove to be forever. One morning a young man bade his wife and child good-bye and went out to his work. There was an accident on the street, and before midday his lifeless body was borne back to his home.
It was a terrible shock, but there was one sweet comfort that came with wondrous power to the crushed heart of the young wife. The last hour they had spent together had been one of peculiar tenderness. Not a word had been spoken by either that she could wish had not been spoken. She had not dreamed, at the time, that it would be their last conversation. And yet there was nothing in it that left one painful recollection, now that she should meet her husband no more.
Through all the following years of loneliness and widowhood, the memory of that last parting was an abiding joy in her life, like a fragrant perfume or a bright lamp of holy peace.
Life is very critical. Any word may be our last. Any farewell, even amid glee and merriment, may be forever. If this truth were but burned into our consciousness, if it ruled as a deep conviction, and had real power in our lives, would it not give a new meaning to all our human relationships?
Would it not make us far more tender than we sometime are? Would it not oftentimes put a rein upon our rash and impetuous speech? Would we carry in our hearts the miserable suspicions and jealousies that now so often embitter the fountains of our loves? Would we be so impatient of the faults of others?
Would we allow trivial misunderstandings to build up strong walls between us and those whom we ought to hold very close to us? Would we keep alive petty quarrels year after year? Would we pass neighbors or old friends on the street without recognition because of some real or fancied slight, some wounding of pride or some supposed injury?