I had the privilege to preach the funeral of a dear, gracious southern lady yesterday afternoon. She left this planet filled with pain and sorrow and entered her new home after 93 years. I read through her memoirs while preparing her memorial service, and discovered the following note:
What a simple start to a marriage of almost 70 years. I read note after note from children, grandchildren, friends and family. Every note revealed a bit more about this dear lady. But the following part of her memoirs said so much:
I realize that much has changed since 1946, but one thing hasn’t changed. After all of the financial, technological, and intellectual advancements have been added up, they don’t come close to the contented joy “of just being together.”
The final note that I found in the memoirs captured all that I read and had personally experienced. Here it is:
Someday, we will all finish the ever challenging hustle and bustle of this life and plant our feet on streets of gold. Wouldn’t it be great to know that you could say “we were just enjoying being together.” Knowing that you’ve been through everything this life can throw at you, and you are still together and that your children might not have had everything you wanted, but they thought so much of you, that they defined your life as “the best parents ever.”
If the Lord tarries His return until after my death, I pray that my wife, my children, and my life might speak of this kind of grace, love, and mercy. That my eulogy would include the many things I read of Mrs. Christine Williams. If you join me in my desire to have your family speak of you in similar fashion, here is the best advice that I can offer:
Choose daily an attitude of gratitude.
Tell your family that you love them every time you can.
Always have their back.
Consistently lead them closer to Christ.
Stop making a big deal about little things.
Extend grace, especially if much grace is needed!
Speak the truth, but always in love. Speak for them, never against them.
Make much of Jesus in your life, so that they will be able to say, “My _____ loved God.”
One last note from Christine’s memoirs:
We choose, each and every day, what our eulogy will sound like. Choose well today!