Lessons from a Funeral

 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. Ecclesiastes 7:2

Saturdays are my day of personal reflection. I try to reflect on my soul, my body, my spirit and make adjustments as needed in the week ahead. Today, instead of looking at myself, I went to the house of mourning and laid several things to heart. At the funeral of a friend, many people shared. Everyone consistently acknowledged my friend’s love of people, even though he struggled tremendously. He spoke slowly and softly (sometimes so low you couldn’t hear him as he mumbled). He called a random times and shared random things. He sang on the praise team at church, even though he couldn’t really sing. He visited people, though he was shy and introverted. He had a long struggle with depression, and wrestled with various other physical ailments.

Despite these things, every person in the room felt deeply loved by our departed friend. As I listened to the stories shared about him, I realized he epitomized Jesus’ command to love God and love others. My friend truly loved the Lord Jesus, and this showed in his constant love for others. My friend possessed no special gifts for working with people, but when filled with the Spirit of God, he cared for people in his own awkward way, and in the process greatly blessed a multitude. His grandsons shared stories with me of how he impacted them. Others shared of his impact on their lives. And I shared his impact on my life. By spending time at the “house of mourning,” God continued to shape me into His image.

Today I learned to love others, even if I’m not gifted in that way. I learned to show my faith in God, even when I don’t know why He has left me on earth. I learned that it doesn’t matter how well I sing, counsel others, or share spiritually, Rather, simply allowing the Holy Spirit to work through my brokenness will bless others. I learned loving people is the mark of a disciple. My prayer for you is that you might learn similar things from people God places in your life. May we live in a way that our funerals instruct another generation.

 

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