Monday, July 27, 2009

When my memorial service comes, I am dancin' through it!

It is bizarro to me what God uses to teach us. This last week was a struggle in "what should I say, what shouldn't I say, how should I feel, how shouldn't I feel, what should I think, what shouldn't I think..." and the list goes on and on. Death and eternity were at the fore front of my mind, and I truly didn't know how to deal with it all. Then God used the smallest thing to bring me to my knees- to remind me how awesome and great He is.

As I sat last night at the memorial service for a man I hardly knew, I realized that I went only because I wanted to bless his daughter, who I do know and love, and found that I was the one who was totally blessed instead. Watching this gentleman's life unfold before me, from birth to death- and all the "living" that goes on in between, I couldn't help but cry at how often I zoom in on the troublesome details, and miss the bigger picture. Memorial services often make life appear like it was all roses and daisies and sunshine. Why? Because when it comes down to it- when the fat lady has sung, "The End" has been printed on this life and we no longer have to live in these sinful bodies- we don't remember the day to day fights, the ugliness of battle or the broken hearts of yesteryear. We remember what it felt like to WIN the fight, to receive the reward at the end of our battles, and how God so totally used our broken hearts to grow us and change us into the people we dreamed we would be.

I saw through the pictures of this God loving man a full life- with love and family, laughter and tears, a soldier, a friend, a husband, a father, a grandpa. I watched his children stand up to honor him, and a church FULL of people sit for two hours in a hot, sweaty auditorium just to show his "young" bride how much they love her.

It was a privilege to see what a life well lead looks like, and it made me smile to picture this fella standing next to Jesus, cheering us on as we laughed and cried over him. I love that even though we know some of the very real struggles he faced in life, those did not define him in the end. Those struggles were not a label or a chain to him, but when all was said and done- he heard "Well done, my son" from the only One who matters. It made me think- is that how it will be? Will God really hone in on all He knows about my evil ways and mistakes, or will He allow the picture to get a little fuzzy around the edges and instead zoom in on me and my Jesus- standing together at the finish? Oh, I hope that is what it will be like- that God would find pleasure in me- in spite of me. :)

Today I am going to the beach with extended family and have been dreading it for various (very valid) reasons. But I think I am going to keep my eyes crossed all day, so I can "fuzzy" out the struggles, and focus in on the memory. Let's just hope my eyes don't get stuck.

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