When the flu season took hold in Minnesota this winter, one of its first fatalities was a young man named Max.Â Max was just a young boy the last time we saw him, and was only seventeen when he died.
Maxâ€™s parents had been active in our church as music and worship team leaders.Â Eventually their family moved to Texas to be near Maxâ€™s grandfather who was dealing with serious health issues. Â We vicariously kept track of their family and their successes along the way.Â Max, we heard, was following in his parentâ€™s footsteps and active in their churchâ€™s youth group.
The family was in Minnesota for a visit when Max fell ill with the flu, and it was shocking when we next heard he was in the hospital fighting for his life.Â How could this be?Â He was so strong and vital!Â How could the flu be more than a nuisance?
The following day in church we were given the sad news that Max had died during the night.Â Our congregation gave a collective gasp and mourned the loss of one so young and ripe with possibility.
Over the past few weeks some of the youth in our church decided to honor Max by dedicating a Sunday in May to his memory.Â Â They are selling T-shirts that say Love to the Max with the proceeds going to Maxâ€™s youth group back in Texas.Â The idea is that our congregation will wear the T-shirts on that Sunday and a photograph will be taken and sent to Maxâ€™s parents.
I watched my husband purchase one of those T-shirts today and it occurred to me how love begets more love.Â Thanks Max, for reminding us of how short life can be, and that love sown is reaped in magical ways.Â It was the best part of my day.
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