a few thoughts after my friend lindsay’s dad’s memorial service today.

1. The great thing about being a Christian is that laughter at your funeral is entirely appropriate–and anticipatory of things to come.

2. And the great thing, too, is that tears are also entirely okay, because church ought to be a place where you can grieve without feeling like you have to be strong. Being strong is not the Christian’s job, anyway.

3. It’s interesting to me that, most of the time, the only two places you’ll get nearly everyone you love in the same physical space at the same time is when you get married and when you die.

4. I know I keep thinking about this, but one day that’s going to be my dad we’re remembering–and my mom, my brother, my friends, maybe one day my husband. And that’s true for you, too, unless, heaven forbid, you happen to be the one to go first. Everyone has a lot of loss in their lives already, and there’s a lot to come. Death is our enemy, you guys. But it has been conquered, and one day we’re all going to rise.

5. I went with two of my friends whose dads are both gone now, after cancer. If I can grieve with any part of the courage and strength they (and their families) have shown since then, it will be more than enough. I kind of worry about that, because grief and stress are major depression triggers for me (which is not really surprising, of course), but see point 2 above. Jesus is always going to be enough.

6. Anyway. It was a good service. Lots of singing. I didn’t know Mr. Ehrhardt that well, but hearing the stories today of his faithfulness and humor and love made me think he’d be a pretty good guy to know. I’m looking forward to getting to know him on the other side of the veil.

I haven’t seen Lindsay in years, so it was good to see her (although the circumstances were not great). Pray for her and her sister and mom and her dad’s mom and brothers.

7. I can’t think of any more appropriate thing to say than what Paul already did, so this is 1 Thessalonians 4:

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

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