I don't like funerals. I am easily brought to tears, and funerals are a place they fall freely. I mourn the loss of a precious person, but also grieve with the immediate family who will now go on without the presence of one that has been so much a part of their lives. Funerals also make me stop and think about my life. When people gather at my funeral what will the testimony of my life be? When the famous die, great accomplishments or heroic deeds are mentioned. Obituaries note the things they were well-known for -- positions held, inventions created, awards received. But what about the people the world deems as ordinary?
At a recent funeral, one of the preachers noted that some people's lives are measured by one event or by a single accomplishment, but this woman's whole life told her story. Some of the most humble, quiet, unassuming people will, I believe, be honored and welcomed into heaven with the greatest of fanfare. Those things done in secret will be revealed. Those quiet words of encouragement spoken at the right time will be applauded. Those prayers voiced when no one was around will be made known. The faith that was lived through difficult circumstances will be rewarded. These are the things that in the end make all the difference.
If I am honest, I am sometimes a bit envious of people of great accomplishments. Deep down I sometimes wonder if my life makes much difference at all. When people gather at my funeral there won't be any news-worthy events to report. But my simple prayer is that in some small way they can say my life was a life well lived because she loved her Lord and she loved her husband and family deeply.
More than the applause of the world, I simply want to hear Jesus say to me:
"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:21)