Friday, August 15, 2014
A Life in Pictures
Went to a funeral today. Scripture says that it is good to go to the house of mourning; how much better when the house of mourning is also one of rejoicing and the tears and pain of loss and separation are endured in the context of the happy taunt, "O death, where is thy sting?"
Funerals and weddings are, I think, two of the most inspiring events to attend, largely because they so often feature a survey of the life of the person or persons they are focused on.
Seeing a life and legacy distilled into a ten-minute slideshow reveals so much about who that person is or was. Hearing family testify to his influence; observing multiple generations of people assembling together to honor him, none of whom would be alive today if it hadn't been for his life; seeing the fingerprints of his legacy in the tears and the smiles of those who loved him, and whom he loved- it gives one cause to consider exactly what legacy he is leaving; how well he is investing the time which will so soon be gone; what things will really matter when the symphony of his own life is arranged into a ten-minute epilogue.
What pictures will sum up my life once it is over?
Will they be pictures of me being all awesome and amazing and alone? Advancing the kingdom of me? Seizing all the wrong opportunities and missing the right ones?
Or will they be pictures of me enjoying the dirt and sweat and sticky honey of real life, wondering like a child- and preferably with a child- at sunsets and at the One who paints them, smiling and loving and laughing and delighting in little things and little people (and big people) and epic plot twists in the story of a life too short not to relish the bitter moments as well as the sweet?