Today was a busy day. So busy, I considered not writing a blog today. But I made a commitment to myself a month ago that I wanted to write every week day. So here I am at about 10pm Eastern. Having a job is really cramping my style.
Yesterday, I was reminded of another “commitment” I made this year. That is, to have deeper relationships, whatever level they are at. As I started my new job yesterday, I was blown at way at the outpouring of messages, tweets, texts and calls I received from all sorts of people – old friends, acquaintances, old listeners, new listeners, etc.
At a significant moment in my life, I felt loved and cared for and was reminded of the importance of relationships. I was also reminded of the idea doing my part to keep in touch with people. In the same way, people reached out to me (even people I rarely see or know), I wanted to be more mindful of reaching out and keeping in touch with them, as well.
I was told their might be a press release about my move to Shine.FM, so I scanned a Christian radio website to see if it was posted yet. It wasn’t. But I scrolled down a bit to read other Christian radio news, because I feel like I’ve been out of the loop the last month. I saw something posted on August 24th that caught my eye:
“WVFJ/Atlanta (J93.3) morning co-host Sheila Richards has been admitted to hospice as she battles cancer.”
At one time Sheila worked for K-LOVE. I don’t thinks she was ever a full-time employee – more like contract employee. She would record shows from her home in Atlanta. For awhile, she was heard in the evening. She also did weekends and fill-in work. She did that for many years and there was a time when I served as her boss or more like her point of contact. I would get her music log and on-air materials to her.
At any given time, we would talk on the phone or exchange emails regarding work. I knew a little about her personally through small talk. I knew of her battles with cancer. I also knew that she was one of the happiest, most cheerful people you’d ever come across. And I’m pretty sure that was because of her amazing faith and love of Jesus. During that whole time of working together, we never met face-to-face.
So when I saw the posting about her this morning, God put it on my heart to do something that in the past I might not have done. That was reach out to her. It was a small thing, but I decided to text her. At 7:50am, this is what I wrote:
“Hi Sheila … Eric Allen here. Want you to know I’m praying for you!”
Texting her was a small gesture. But I’m learning those small gestures can mean a lot – especially when going through difficult times.
I didn’t receive a text back. Given what I read about her condition, I didn’t expect one.
About 9 o’clock tonight, I decided to check my Twitter feed for the first time today. One tweet in particular caught my eye – it said that Sheila Richards passed away … this morning.
She would have never seen my text, but I’m glad I sent it. I won’t pretend to say that I knew her well, but I know I would have felt some regret had I known about her recent condition and not reached out to her.
I was reminded again of the importance of relationships. Most importantly, I was reminded that Sheila was in a much better place today because of the deepest, most important relationship you can ever have.
Click Here for a bit more on Sheila