The Funeral

by Rhonda, June 22, 2022

A member of my family passed away this week.  She knew Christ, and I have no doubt this goodbye is temporary.  But, on this side of heaven, we're always going to feel sad when we lose someone we love.  This was an especially difficult situation, and her husband had to choose to take her off of life support.  

Sometimes life is so brutal. We're just not designed for these types of decisions.

I woke early and looked at my calendar this morning, trying to rearrange things to attend the funeral.  With multiple deadlines looming, I kept trying to play calendar Jenga with appointments and meetings.  But, no matter what I did, everything remained out of place and I could not find a way to make things work.  One way or another, I was going to come up short.

Frustrated, I put down my phone and walked outside. I surveyed my back deck.  There had been a fairly loud thunderstorm last night, and the deck was a mess from the results.  My patio furniture was pushed around, my plants were knocked over, and everything was soaked.

My daughter stood by the door, watching me while I tried to put everything back in place.

"What did you think of the storm last night?" she asked me.

"It was short but powerful," I said.  "Look at this mess."

"I'll help you," she said as she picked up a plant.  "It moved everything out of place, didn't it?" 

"Yes," I said, "but the rain was badly needed."

"I guess things being out of place isn't so bad," she said.  "Especially when you get all of the rain."

I looked at her when she said it, the message clicking in my mind.  The things that are most worthy of our time and attention are often the very things that ruin our plans.  Sometimes, having our plans ruined is exactly what we need, and the change in routine and monotony is like fresh rain falling in our lives.  God is always interested in doing something new.

God is really not concerned about my calendar or my schedule.  The most important thing to God is love, which is far more important than any accomplishment or achievement.  God's will for me is to support and love my family.  If I choose love, I can never come up short, no matter what the calendar says.  Life isn't a game or a dress rehearsal, and loving others matters.  It is always meant to be our highest priority, aside from loving God.

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:36-40

My phone rang, and my uncle was on the other end of the line.  Through halted words, he asked, "I was wondering if Alex (my son) could be a pallbearer this week at the graveside service?"

"Of course," I answered.

"Okay, I'll put him down then."  He hung up quickly.

I wondered how many more of those phone calls he would have to make.  I wondered how he was going to get through it, and I felt so selfish for even caring about my calendar.    

I closed my eyes.

"Lord," I whispered, "bring on the rain.  We're here for it."

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