This past Friday was a big day for death. I attended a funeral of a middle-aged man who passed within mere days of a terrible diagnosis. I was unable to attend the one for the baby–that young soul born at week 25, who fought valiantly for each breath and so easily won the hearts of a family who loved him…and those who simply knew to pray for him. Friday was the beginning of an extended weekend over which we celebrate those American soldiers who gave their lives so that we can be free. Friday was also the fifth anniversary of the day we suddenly lost my father-in-law. Yes, Friday was a big day for death.
Friday was a big day for life, as well, for all of those who were mentioned in the first paragraph made an impact with their lives. Those who gathered to grieve the losses and those who gathered to celebrate the lives shared much in common. They gathered because they loved. The length of the lives they gathered to remember was different in each and every case. The depth of the impact they made seemed remarkably similar. Each passing evoked a profound sense of loss.
Those losses could not have been so powerfully felt if the lives lost were not important.
They were important to family members, to friends and to communities and…they were important to God. That’s really critical to remember during our times of grief. God grieves with us. He knows the depth of our losses and he knows the holes in our hearts and the ragged breaths we draw as we fight for control over something we have no hope of controlling.
Yes, He creates–even in death. He creates memories for us to cling to and arms to hug and comfort, smiles from those who know the loss and the pain and yet also remember the laughter and the stories of what made those souls bind so tightly to our own. He uses life to create the legacies that live on after the breathing halts. He creates. He always creates.
This life is about more than who will attend our funerals and who will mourn and for what length of time they grieve. This life is about God’s constant creation of opportunities to turn to Him for everything we will ever need.
Think about that. No matter what day you read this, it is a big day for life. You matter. Your life matters. The choices you make in this life determine more than what career path you follow or which people will miss you when you’re gone. The biggest choice you’ll ever make is more than just about this life. It’s about your eternal one. Choose wisely. No matter what your choice is, you’re creating, too…
Yes, it’s a big day for life.
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life…that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life…” Deuteronomy 30:19-20