This past Saturday I had the honor of officiating the celebration of life of one of our saints. This was my first time being ask to do this, and with all humility I was honored that they would ask me to be a part of it.
I never had the opportunity to meet this woman in person. However, I met with the family on Thursday evening. During that couple hours, and through their incredibly vivid and candid sharing, I felt like I was able to develop a solid sense of the woman we were to honor on Saturday.
As I prepared for Saturday, there was a couple points the family touched on that truly captivated me. The first of these was something they told me she kept saying to them towards the end of her struggle. “I want to know how the this story ends.” She was talking about her family’s story. She loved, protected, guided and encouraged them. She didn’t fear death, but rather, feared leaving them to complete the story without her. What dawned on me was, she knows the “end of the story”. Afterall, she was a vital author of the story. Her influences, her legacy will continue to shape and contribute to her family’s story for all future generations. Secondly, she knew the Lord, she knew His promise, therefore she knows the end of the “Ultimate Story” That is, there is no end.
That leads me to the second thing they shared, that had a profound impact on me. They told me she was at complete and utter peace. She had no fear as she neared the end of her days here. She went as far as to encourage her son in her final moments, telling him to “have courage”. She had peace because she knew that, though her time on earth was drawing to a close, it was merely the beginning of a life in Glory with her Father in heaven. What a wonderful thing to know. Notice, I said know, not believe. Though I’ve not knowingly faced the end of my temporal life, I find it hard to believe that anyone could have that level of peace and comfort by belief alone. That kind of peace, acceptance and surrender can only come from knowing God and knowing the Son’s promise. She knew.
For me, to be a part of this woman’s celebration of life, to hear the things her family shared, to learn about what she wanted and what she knew, brought me peace, joy, hope and reassurance. In being allowed the opportunity to share a little of the woman they loved, I will forever be connected to them and I become a small piece of her legacy and the “end of the story”. Have a blessed weekend.
John 14:1-6 (NASB) “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,