"Wow. This is like the season of death," my daughter commented.
Within a matter of days, a sweet friend lost her son, a second friend passed away unexpectedly, a third friend lost his father, a fourth friend lost her mother, and another friend was in the hospital fighting for her life.
Seems like we have been attending funerals almost weekly. Maybe it's the funerals, or maybe it's being 50-something, but I've been thinking a lot lately about my own funeral, too.
When folks are sitting in the pews at my send-off celebration, what do I want them to hear? What do I want them to take away when the service is over?
Most emphatically, I do NOT want folks in the pews to be given a litany of my virtues: "She was a faithful wife, a devoted mother, a prayerful Christian, a godly woman..." No, no, no, and no! Please, no! I do desire to be all of those things; but I am more painfully aware than anyone of how far short I fall of being any of them. Please, at my funeral, just don't even go there.
Rather, I want those gathered to hear about my faithful God and my devoted Savior. I want them to be reminded that Dead Camille is eternally secure not because of anything that I did, but because of what Jesus did on my behalf.
Anything that might be labeled as a Good Work - sacrifices for my family, homeschooling my children, loving and praying for my church, ministry to others... - roll all that stuff in a wad and toss it in the Filthy Rags bin. Don't waste time talking about those things.
Instead, talk about the grace of God. Talk about how God, in his great mercy, pursued this sinful, broken, messed up woman, pursued her and wooed her and won her to himself, and is keeping her for eternity.
Talk about how God was faithful in my life, even when my faith was weak. Talk about how God was good and kind and patient, even when I proved repeatedly how very wicked, unkind, and impatient I could be - both toward him and toward others.
Please, if you love me, I'd rather you not talk about me at all. Talk about my beautiful Jesus instead.
When my funeral is over, I don't want a single person to walk out thinking, "Camille was such a wonderful woman," because I know the truth, and I wasn't.
No! I want every single person - whether they know and love Jesus or not - to walk out saying, "What an amazing God, to love sinful Camille so completely!"
(And after my funeral, if folks want to have a pot-luck with fried chicken and chocolate pie, followed by a jam session and singing, I'm totally okay with that - just in case you're wondering.)
3 weeks ago