I sat in the large auditorium, only having known the woman who died in brief interactions. But I cried as children she had ministered danced (yes, danced) to the Happy song. Such a strange juxtaposition in a memorial service. And yet, beautiful.
Because in that moment, my acquaintance, whose body lay cold in a box in the front, was truly happy, clapping along in a roofless heaven, applauding her Creator, and dancing nimbly before Him. (Yes, she was a dancer in this life).
I sat quiet, thoughts to myself, as her life unfolded before me in pictures and stories. And I thought about where she came from, where we all came from.
We start this life in our mother’s wombs, warm and protected. We cry our way into this crazy world. We live our lives. And then a box or urn holds our body.
But our stories cannot be contained in a pine box. They are held in the lives of those we touch, of the legacy our words and actions leave behind. That’s why we need to remember life’s brevity. We need to remember that life is far more about people and love and compassion and grace and forgiveness and holy living and mercy and generosity than it is about comfort or stuff or selfishness or being #1 or fame or accolades or power or control.
The time we have between the womb and the box is short. May it be that we take this seriously, no longer living in denial, and look at today in light of eternity.
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Which is why I love these amazing verses in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
The dancer whose memorial service I attended fixed her gaze on unseen rewards. And now she is reaping them. How about you?