Friday, November 9

Reflections (In Dedication to Our Dearest Friend, Ella)

Grazela Ventura October 20, 1976 - November 9, 2002

5 years ago we lost one of our best friends, El, to a terrible accident. She was a person who saw good in people even when it was hard to find. One of the ways we see ourselves is in the reflection of our image in other people's eyes. I liked the version of me I saw in her eyes, and I continue to miss it… and of course along with many other things about her. My reflection in her eyes was like a curved mirror in a carnival that shows people as taller and slimmer than they really are. I know I'm not as good a person as El saw me to be, but I think it made me a better person to see the possibility.

I know you have a special memory of our dearest El in your heart. Let it remain an inspiration to you to bring out the best in you and in others. So many things have changed since El died, some good and some are not so good, but because God’s mercy are new every morning we can wake up and see a new beginning and a brand new hope. No one knows us better than God, faults and all. Yet no one better knows our potential either. God sees each of us as capable of more than we can imagine.

We should all learn from El to be careful how we look at other people. If we see only their flaws, that will be their reflection in our eyes and perhaps all they may see in themselves. But if we see other people as God's children, if we see God's image in them, maybe some will see that reflection… God's image shining in us.

We dedicate this day in memory of our dearest El. May you all feel the comfort and unconditional love of Christ as you reflect the wonderful memories she spent with us.

Please join me in prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being a companion and a friend to all of us. Thank You for sustaining and guiding us by the presence of Your Spirit. Help us to remember that the life we live is a reflection of our gratitude both for life on this earth and life yet to come. Remind us that both of these are underserved gifts from You and that all of this is made possible through the life of Jesus Christ. Thank You Lord for this opportunity that we can come together in unity as we give You thanks for the friendship You have brought upon all of us. Thank You for the time You allowed us to spend with El and for the wonderful memories we all can never forget. The bond we have for each other was made real because of the precious time You have taken to knit us together. We offer this day to You, in Jesus Holy and Mighty name, Amen.

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