Sadly, Lauren Hill died today.
You may remember her as a 19-year-old freshman basketball player for Mount St. Joseph who was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer. Her desire to play college basketball captured the imagination of our country.
I’m not quite sure why her death has impacted me but it has.
- maybe because I think of her parents today:
- maybe because she loved to play basketball;
- maybe because she is in college and I have a child in college;
- maybe because I actually know where Mount St. Joseph is – as MSJ is part of the Heartland Conference – the same conference that Transy, where Jordan is, is in.
- maybe because I love DIII sports – the true student athlete, who play for the love of the game as part of one’s educational experience.
Maybe, I think it really is, because she chose to finish her life strong. In the past six months, she has played college basketball, been recognized with major awards – the Wilma Rudolph Award, the Pat Summit Courage Award, and being named to the 1st team All Conference.
She was awarded an Honorary Doctor’s degree from MSJ. Honorary degrees are given for contributions made to an institution. She told her story over and over again, and every time she was also telling MSJ story. She earned that degree.
She chose to become the voice and face of her disease. She told her story – usually with tears – and it became the real life story of other children with brain cancer.
And she created a foundation for research for her disease – a little know disease. She raised nearly 1.5 million dollars. Wow.
But, I think, the real reason she touched me, is that in death, life becomes so much clearer.
In her interviews, she said over and over, “Life is precious, every moment you get with someone is a moment that's blessed, really blessed."
That hit home with me.
The cost of Jesus’ life so that I can have life abundant and free, means that I should not waste the moments that He has given me. Being faithful and obedient is a choice that I chose in which to give of my very best to my Lord. That becomes the “blessing.”
So, thanks, Lauren, for in death, you have reminded me, that it is my choice to give of my best very day for my Savior.
Dr. Rich Lloyd
A follower of Jesus Christ. Husband to Debbie since 1980. Father to Logan, Kelsey and Jordan. Since 2000 the Pastor of the First Baptist Church Newport, Newport, Tennessee nestled in the great Smoky Mountains. A graduate of Samford University (BA '79) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv '83, ThM '85 and PhD '91). A third generation Southern Baptist minister. A serious Peyton Manning and Atlanta Braves fan!