It was chilly yesterday standing graveside. My sister in law, the one married to my youngest brother, lost her dear, sweet granny late last week. Theirs was a meaningful relationship, the bonds between them strong and close. Monday afternoon a group of family and friends gathered together to pray, pay last respects, celebrate life, lift up the ones left behind.
The pastor did an excellent job sharing the gospel, delivering a loving and encouraging message of hope for those believers standing on this side of heaven …. those resting secure in the knowledge that Granny is ahead of us, already rejoicing at the feet of Jesus. It was painfully bittersweet to take in the contrasts of love and grief that were captured in that brief moment of closure.
I still struggle and squirm at funerals. Death reminds me that the big game clock is ticking. I don’t fear my own mortality, not exactly. As I write I’m dealing more with the sense of loss and regret for all the opportunities not taken to speak love and life to people around me. Missed. Ignored. Avoided. As if I have all the time in the world to make up for it, right? Far from it.
As I process these feelings I realize that what I am experiencing is not unique. As I get older it just feels more desperate. There’s the conviction in my heart that precious time is winding down, added to that sense of loss and regret for the past with a heightened awareness and overwhelming urgency for the future.
I hope you don’t see all this as my being overly emotional or morbid, but truly …. physical death is the great equalizer. It’s the one thing we humans all share regardless of upbringing, finances, gender, religious beliefs, nationality, race, lifestyle, personality or outward appearance. Then, I believe, the difference between us will be Jesus in us. Our relationship in Him and how His life flowed out of us while we are here. Whether you are a new follower or have been a child of God for many years I believe we are all tasked with the same mission. How we go about carrying out that mission will vary based on our own unique giftedness, the opportunities He provides and how well we choose to obey.
Love God, love others.
My prayer is that with Jesus living in each of us
we will learn to recognize and embrace opportunities
to demonstrate His love in the everyday
and by our lives glorify Him to the world around us.