Straight Outta Miami! That’s right. That’s where I come from. Now some may see this as a bad thing but truth be told, Miami has many great qualities that go unseen by those that have never experienced its uniqueness. It is only when you live in this city and encounter some of its cultural richness that you can understand of what I speak. Although seen as a “hard, everyone’s looking out for their own” kind of place, there is something very special about how Miamians flock together when loss or tragedy comes upon one of its own. Perhaps it’s the fact that we are all familiar with “the struggle” and each of us, in our own individual way, have a story to tell about how mami and papi or abuelo and abuela got to Miami. I imagine this is the reason we are so empathetic towards each other.
Though I live in Tampa now, most of my contacts are from back home and just today I was reminded of this empathy of which I speak. Jose Fernandez. Miami Marlins’, 24 year old pitcher and ambassador of the sport who was tragically killed this morning in a boating accident. His death has left the city in a saddened state. A Cuban defector who fled to America with a vision of something better as many of us have. We all mourn his loss today. Perhaps because he was what many define as the American dream, or perhaps it was his young age that touches us, or even maybe the fact that he just last week announced that he was going to be a father. I suppose it is a combination of all of these reasons that allows us to relate each in a different way to this story and causes us to join together in the pain his loved ones are experiencing.
As I read the story today I immediately remembered those words spoken by my father every time someone passed:
Para morirse lo unico que hace falta es estar vivo!
For my non-Spanish speaking friends this translates to:
The only requirement for one to die is to be alive!
The wisest words I have ever heard…and I don’t say that lightly. Though I have to admit I’d get a good chuckle every time I heard him say this, today I realize he was speaking truth. Death doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t take into account your race, age, religion, sex, status, finances, or anything else. At the end of the day all that matters is our spiritual state and the condition of our hearts.
Will I stand in the presence of The Great I Am?
Just last week I was breaking bread with a friend and having one of those deep conversations about G-d, life etc. (my favorite type of dialogue). Though our faith isn’t exactly the same, he expressed an interest in knowing G-d on a deeper, more intimate level but also shared that he hadn’t reached the point where he had made a conscious effort to do that. I can’t help but wonder today how many of you reading this are in the same boat? Choosing to do tomorrow what you can do today. Waiting to develop that relationship tomorrow because we either don’t have the time, the desire, or simply the need to do so right now.
Tomorrow may never come.
We all meet the requirement to die today, but the real question is do you meet the requirement to live an eternal life tomorrow? …that requirement can only be met through a relationship with Jesus Christ. I pray you do. #RIP Jose Fernandez
Below is the best attempt to describe Jesus I have ever heard. Pease take 3 minutes to listen to it.