Thursday, May 31, 2012

Does anyone make a difference?

Dear God,
If I die tomorrow
Or a thousand tomorrows from now,
Will it matter?
Will I be changed
Or have changed the world?
Will another moment from eternity of existence
Cause the moon to fall,
The oceans to weep,
The trees to walk?
But if an extra heartbeat brings one smile to a teary eye,
If all my heartbeats can make another soul sing,
Another life less dull,
Then my entire being has purpose.
And eternity becomes an instant of joy.
(by Pat Loehmer)

If I looked back through all the letters my sister Pat wrote me over the years, I would probably find the date when she wrote this. But I am pretty sure that it was well before she was diagnosed with cancer, well before she realized that her days were numbered, that mortality would come knocking way too soon.

Last night I finished yet another draft of my memoir of my mission trip to Kenya. Much of that trip was spent wondering if I made a difference, if any of those people who I tried to help actually had been helped in any way by my presence for that very short period of time. It took me several years to realize why I had gone to Africa; I should have read this poem then and it would have come clear. 

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