In a memorable scene from the 1989 comedy/action movie ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ ‘Indy’, played by Harrison Ford, appears to disappear over a cliff and his father, played by Sean Connery thinks he’s dead. In the story they’ve been distant for years and only recently reunited.
Seized with grief and regret, Dr Jones Snr cries, ‘I’ve lost him…and I never told him anything!’
For the record Indy survives, but those few agonising seconds of realisation – irreparable loss and missed opportunity are stamped indelibly in our minds.
Most of us can probably think of relationships that never got mended because we just couldn’t or wouldn’t find the words, or the courage. Or relationships where we feel a responsibility to say something but struggle to find the ‘right’ moment. If that moment were given to us now, what would we say? What would we want to tell those people?
‘I’m sorry, please forgive me’ is probably something that springs to mind. ‘I forgive you’ should be another.
‘Thank you, well done, I’m so proud of you!’ follow quickly, not forgetting, ‘I love you!’
There’s more, more we would want people to know. That life is certainly not all easy, there are real disappointments and heartaches, but don’t give up. Hang in there, it’s worth it in the end. That doing wrong is never a good idea. That it’s natural to feel cynical when stuff happens but don’t let it rule you, don’t let it rob you of faith and joy. Keep going, it gets better, there are more good times ahead. Laughter and tears are close friends, seldom far apart. And love hurts more than anything but ultimately it saves us.
Jesus is sending His disciples out on mission in Matthew ch10. He gives them His authority to not only preach but also to heal, drive out demons, even raise the dead! Yet He tells them plainly they will not always be popular. They can expect resentment, hatred, persecution. The message itself, while it brings life and peace to believers, will prove divisive. But those who ‘stand firm to the end will be saved.’ (v 22) More, He promises the Spirit’s help when we’re struggling to find words. (v 20) He says we are precious to God the Father, and that if we acknowledge Christ before people, He will acknowledge us before His Father in heaven. (v 33) Summing up a great deal of wisdom He says, ‘Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’ (v 39)
So there. We’ve been told. All is not lost.
Things may be tough short-term but the ending is a happy one. Meantime we have been given this day to keep and practise faith, knowing we are loved, and never alone.