Monday, December 6, 2010

What We Leave Behind

Last year I bought a pair of "funeral clothes". Just some black pants and shoes with a nice shirt. I hoped that I wouldn't have to wear that outfit too often. But Jeremy and I are beginning to realize that the older we get, the more loss we will experience personally and through those we love. A friend of mine with a terminal illness recently stated that "We are all terminal". How true that is.

As I was standing in the 2-hour line for calling hours of a family friend yesterday, I was reminded that only two things matter at a funeral: 1)where that person is spending eternity, and 2)who they left behind. Yesterday was a cause for celebration as the deceased is now in heaven with Jesus. There was a sadness present for those left behind, but also great hope and peace in knowing God was present and in control. As the line progressed through different rooms I did not learn where Bob lived, what kind of car he drove, what awards he had received, or how much "stuff" he had. What I saw was how much he loved and was loved in return. Pictures with his wife of 43 years and the journey they had traveled together....children, grandkids, tons of memories. Plus the mere presence of so many people waiting to show their respects to Bob's family testify to the type of man that he was. I want to leave behind that type of legacy too.

With Christmas quickly approaching I am reminded that it is relationships, not gifts, that are important. What matters is our relationship with the Lord, and the time spent and memories made with others. That is what we leave behind. Thanks, Bob & Gina, for your beautiful witness.

"How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God...How happy are those who can live in your house, always singing your praises"
~ Psalm 84: 1,2,4