Monday, September 14, 2009

Love: A Lasting Legacy

I've attended three memorial services in the last couple of weeks. Two were held at my church, Overlake Park Presbyterian: one for a former pastor of the church and one for a member. One was a Native American ceremony held outside in West Seattle for a woman I called "Aunt Ginnie". The services in Bellevue were very different from the memorial in West Seattle, and yet there were also very important commonalities.

In all cases, family and friends were present to honor and to grieve the loss of a loved one. Stories were told. There was laughter and there were sighs of sorrow. And there was the ever present food. What’s a gathering without food? The food reminds us that we are alive. We eat to live.

But the memorial services remind me that we live to love. That’s our lasting legacy…the love we have shown and experience with others. I thank God, the source of love, that Love is eternal.

Each of these three people knew Jesus, the ultimate revelation of Love. They are whole now. Aunt Ginnie was blind, but now she sees. Several years ago she was facing major heart surgery and in her frail condition, we didn’t know how she would make it. When I visited her several days before surgery, she shared a vision with me. She saw herself walking with Jesus on green hills, covered with white daisies on a beautiful blue sky day. She had a peace about the surgery. Later, words came to me to be sung to the tune of Amazing Grace, one of her favorite songs. I sang this to her the morning of her surgery:

Someday I’ll walk the hills of green

Adorned with daisies white

And underneath the sky of blue

Jesus walks by my side.

All three of these people are with Christ Jesus now living in that Eternal Love. May we all be filled with Christ’s healing love.

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