The news of his death was a shocking one. A colleague had called to confirm if the rumour was true. I wasn’t sure. Not until my mum and dad confirmed it did it dawned on me that my distant friend was gone.
He was a gentle and vision-filled young man, just about my age. He had been my class mate. We had actually graduated from the same secondary school. He lives close by and each time he passes by the house? He greets mum and sent me greetings. Mum tells me when I returned that my husband came visiting.
Now “my husband” is no where to be found. I heard it was an accident. I heard he was on his way to minister at a conference. I heard he was one of the leaders of his fellowship on campus. I also heard he was fond of preaching. I heard so many things and I know that all those couldn’t have been untrue. Sometimes I see him passing by in front of the house on his way to church. His zeal for God seems to be visibly written all over his face wherever and whenever he went to.
I visited his house. I saw the crowd. I saw the members of the executives of his fellowship. I heard and saw them praying, praying that he might be resurrected from the dead. Sources claimed he had recently had a dream that he went over to the other side of life. And now the dream was just been replayed in reality. My hopes were high. If only he’ll just resurrect and tell me what he saw in heaven. Oh that this would just be one of the occurrences to approve of his ministry. I heard the comments flying in the air that this boy hadn’t achieved enough. I felt so too. He was a man of vision, he shouldn’t die now. But no! God knows best. and to God? This was the most appropriate time for him to go.
With the crowd at his burial, one would have thought it was that of an adult. All the way from his campus, lecturers and students graced this dreadful occasion. Friends and family from both far and near. No doubt, this young man had lived a life of impact and influence. The tears on the face of students and the mourning of the lecturers tells it all. He died soon – but had lived a life of impact.
Its been three years since he died and today as I sit, memories come flowing in. Each time I’m almost giving in to discouragement and I think of heaven? I can almost hear him say “come-on, don’t give up yet”. My hopes are high. I want to get to heaven. I want to see him and ask him how it all happened. But much more than that, I want at the end of my life whether at young or old age to have impacted lives for God.
Many young people are dying today heading to Christ-less graves. Many old ones too, with little or no impact on their generation. Only a few seems to understand; that fulfillment does not depend on how long but how well. As I sit and recount the memories of my encounter with this young fellow, I can’t but conclude that He died soon, but fulfilled.
Oh that whenever the end will come for me, whether soon or later,
that my life would have influenced and impacted,
both for the betterment of the world and the reward of eternity,
Oh that my legacy will lead the way for others to follow earnestly.
This is my plea and passion – that my life would count for humanity and eternity!
In loving Memory of
FRUITFUL E. JOHN