I've just been asked to facilitate and officiate another funeral. The gentleman who died was 63 years old…sudden heart attack on a golf course while vacationing in Florida. You know, I've read posts, books, articles, columns, letters and napkin scratch of people's reflections regarding dying. Every one of them has provided input for a moment's pause to contemplate what is indiscrimantly awaiting. I was talking to the widow today…praying for her to find some comfort for the bombshell of reality that she was attempting to handle emotionally, relationally and spiritually. For a brief moment or two, I saw of glimmer of joy and peace even in the most devestating of circumstances. That vision brought me to my knees.
Now, every death has affected me…I still have a few folders in my office of the dozens upon dozens of funerals and services I've led. Just the other day, I was paging through a few of them…remembering dear friends, people who blessed me more than I could ever express, as well as people I only knew through their deaths. It doesn't take long to realize when you are 56 years old that the years ahead of you are fewer than the ones you have long time passed. The suddenness of death's call can be spoken to by the promise and hope of all that which awaits the follower and lover of the One who conquered death. Yet the reality of what each person faces when staring into the grave's face needs to be brought to focus in order to live life to its fullest. Being a follower of Jesus is about living life to its fullest…"life in abundance", were the words of Jesus. So, discovering a full life, squeaking out every moment's wonder, wringing the depth of love and passion from every relationship, and awakening to our partnership in God's mission daily can lift the impending pall. If not for that sure and certain hope, well, there isn't much more, is there? I have rediscovered that I can live each moment in anticipation of being given eyes to see and ears to hear the presence and miraculous movement of the Spirit. When I get to rise to the fact that God is working in and through me to sow seeds that will span eternity makes any fear or apprehension melt away. When I look into the eyes of those who are grieving, I pray that I am living one of those moments…sowing those types of seeds.
So, I'm a bit reflective today…not heavy-hearted but thinking about the heart of our lives. How I pray that we are living it meaningfully…taking advantage of the moments that we are given as gifts.