Thoughts from a Funeral

This past week I found myself attending the funeral of a close friend’s mom – someone beloved by anyone who knew her, someone who endured pain and illness to the end, praising her Maker. There is something about coming face to face with the death of others that makes you slow down and think – about your own life, your death, this world, and about the reality of God and eternity. I suppose one cannot help but think about the fact that death is the end of every story, even our own. And we can’t help but think about who will be at our funeral, who will speak, and what will be said about us. For me, much of this is attributed to my ego and pride. I want to be well thought of! I want others to talk about how great I was! I want to leave a story of a life well-lived!

But as I’ve been processing the past few days, the Lord has been gracious in reminding me that my story is not about myself. My story is not mainly about the life I am living, or the ways that I am a good wife or daughter or mother, or even about how well I have loved God. My story is about my Creator, the one who has mercifully given me life.

At this funeral, it was God who was celebrated for triumphing over this sick thing called death. It was God who was celebrated for giving grace and mercy to his children – his children who squander opportunities, who make feeble efforts to have courage in the face of death. It was God who was celebrated because he won’t let death separate us from his love, because of the work of Jesus for those who believe. It was God who was celebrated because my friend’s mom entered into the joy of her Maker.

I pray that my funeral is the same way. That my life for my life’s sake would not be what is remembered, but that God would use it to point to himself – to his dazzling beauty and glory in the face of our sin-wracked world. May God give us endurance to continue to fight to see his gates of splendor waiting for us.

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
Where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
Hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me find thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.

– The Valley of Vision

 

One Comment

  1. K. Andrew Dean said:

    Wonderfully summed up. As a good friend of Laurie’s from our days of Sunday school, high school & college, she would have said ‘good work faithful servant- God’s love always leads even in sickness & death. Now let’s hit the dance floor’.

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