“Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching.” Satchel Paige
Yesterday I received an email that broke my heart. One of my friends from church and colleague at work unexpectedly and suddenly passed away at the age of 42. Her name is Lori English and she had a huge heart for God.
She was very active in our church and specifically I got to get to know her better on a short-term missions trip to Jamaica. Her passion was children and she spent most of her week at West Haven Orphanage loving on those beautiful kids. She had a ton of empathy for me when my heart was broken leaving Copse Place of Safety after a visit. She knew what Jesus' heart feels like. She knew the compassion and love He has for his people.
Lori was active in a marketplace ministry that I help organize and she spent a season praying with us here at work. I always loved running into her in the office and catching up.
More recently, she fell in love with Tom and they were engaged to be married this summer. She asked me a few months ago to sing in her wedding and I obliged. I was honored to lead worship for her special day and she already knew she wanted me to sing, "How Great Is Our God" by Chris Tomlin. I hope someone sings it at her funeral. One thing I know for sure; I won't ever be able to sing the song the same way.
As I was lamenting with a friend of mine about this loss, she said to me, "Let's honor Tom and Lori by loving our spouses the same way they were in love." That really rang home for me. It really put things in perspective about how short life is and how we must not take anything for granted, especially the people around us who love us and we love.
It reminded me of the quote I started this post with by Satchel Paige. If this were my quote, I would rearrange a few things in it to read...
“Worship like no one is watching. Love like Jesus. And work as if you're working for the Lord."
As I write this post, I write it with envy as I know that Lori is in good company as she sits at the feet of Jesus today.