My friend lost her father two weeks ago. This past weekend was the memorial service.
After I had wiped away the eyeliner streaks, I had some time to sit down and actually ruminate on how swiftly this life streaks by. The slideshow at the memorial was riddled with images of Bob when he was young – like my husband. Younger than my husband. He was in love with his wife just as I am in love with my Sean.
Smiling at a camera before stockings are opened, or right as one of his children hopped on his lap. Normal. Every day living.
Until it’s over.
I’ve said before that funerals often serve as some the best experiences in my life. They give me a jolt of life that I often let putter out….usually lost to the more pressing issues. Bills. Schoolwork. Getting to bed early, or whatever new recipe I should throw in the crockpot.
In my mind, funerals leave me feeling one of two things. I either depart feeling mournfully joyful – knowing the person we are grieving is home with the Lord and no longer in worldly pain.
Or I leave so somber that I almost can’t feel.
No matter how we as Christians desperately try to make our belief system less offensive to an unbelieving and cynical public, we can’t escape what is truly true:
If one does not have faith in Christ, there is no peace or closure when they pass. There is no solace. There is no hope.
I hate how this statement may pain people – I really do. But, I hate even more how many Christians will resist approaching this very subject because they may offend someone.
If indeed there is no hope aside from Christ (there’s not), than we as Christians need to be intellectually honest about that and stop repeating the cultural mantra, “Find your truth.” No, there isn’t “your” truth and “my” truth.
There’s just truth.
Truth is hard. It requires change and commitment and resolve. Often I lack these things and I know the truth! Truth confronts us and doesn’t allow for halfway efforts. Of course we are sinners and will ultimately come up short, but the pursuit of truth is all-consuming, but worth the effort.
When I sat and saw the celebration of Bob’s life, I was able to really celebrate because I know he loved the Lord. He praised the Lord and told others of Him. He made disciples, going and telling and proclaiming the good news.
Funerals leave my heart sad but they also remind me of my purpose here.
It’s to tell others of the love and salvation that Christ offers.
So that each funeral need not be hopeless.