Sunday, May 08, 2011


There is no better place to recognize the existence of a man's soul than when you come face-to-face with him again at his own wake. In approaching the coffin to pay respects, it is impossible to ignore the internal recognition that the person you know is no longer there. It is just his "shell," if you will. A temporary holding place. A vessel.

Though it may sound morbid, I find myself awkwardly joyful through most occasions of this nature. It has everything to do with the fact that I am not afraid of death. I am not afraid of the death of my beloved family. Death is dead for us, don't you see? Death is dead! Is it not called a "wake" for a reason?

For those who worship the One Lord, Jesus Christ, who conquered death for our sake, death cannot swallow us. We go from temporary life to eternal life. The only thing I really find myself mourning over in this present day is the distance we feel from our loved ones. It is temporary, yet such a far distance. In addition, I think of Home. My heavenly home. My real home. Thinking about another leaving this earth and all of its complexities and issues behind makes me wonder about the relief he must feel now. No more pain, no more sorrow, No more politics, no more poverty. No more money, no more material. Just Love. Pure, unadulterated Love.

"I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin was sung during the ceremony. It was then that the tears came pouring over my cheeks. I couldn't hold them in once I caught a vision of him living out the lyrics "And I will rise when He calls my name, no more sorrow, no more pain. I will rise on eagle's wings. Before my God fall on my knees and rise, I will rise."

I am so filled with gratitude when I think about my family. I think about how intolerant my parents are of even the slightest compromise of the Truth. I think about my last birthday when my uncle called and declared blessings over my life. I think about my late grandmother who (among many great things), as a widow, poured her retirement funds to build a church and school in an Indian village. I think about this weekend's funeral and the constant acknowledgement of how faithful he was to the work of the LORD in his everyday life. On the front of the program, 2 Timothy 4:7 is quoted, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." I love how confidently that can be said of my family- immediate or distant. What a legacy.

I do not write this to pour salt on any wounds if this is not the legacy of your family. I know all families have imperfections, mine included. I think the point I ultimately want to make is this: as individuals, we each have a level of influence. We are or will be someone's mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, niece, nephew, or cousin. We can choose to let that role slide by as though it is insignificant. Or, we can recognize it for its worth and use it to pour a wealth of goodness into our bloodline. Pour out into your family. Create depth to shallow waters. Leave a godly legacy.

"No reserve, no retreat, no regrets."
In loving memory of "TC"

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