A special friend died this week. Cancer thought it had the upper hand, but the Resurrection and the Life knew the right moment to transport this precious saint straight to his eternal reward. I imagine the celebration reception our friend received. Embraced by the Father of Lights and high-fived by the One with the scars on his hands and feet, he is now finally gazing into the eyes of the Comforter, who had always been his unseen yet constant companion. Familiar faces who arrived there before he did will excitedly greet him. Oh, the delights to explore, the wholeness of soul and body to marvel at, the fullness of joy!
We grieve on this side; his wife mourns deep loss. Hope assures us of his gain and reminds us that our life here is momentary, temporary. And that the best is yet to come.
The memorial service honored Mike’s life here and gave us pause to remember his kindness, genuine interest in everyone, faithfulness to his family, talents, passion for God’s kingdom and his wonderful, wacky sense of humor. Many verbally shared their appreciation. His was a life well lived.
As friends and family were sharing eulogies, I considered how encouraging it would be to speak praises and appreciation to those we love and spend time with, now, when they can hear us, when it might make a difference how they feel about themselves, or how it might give them the confidence they lack to try that new thing, or to have greater faith to believe God’s purposes for their life. Let us not hold back, from saying kind things out loud, from expressing praise when we see someone’s good deeds or talents shine.
Facebook gives us a platform. Emails and texts deliver words almost as fast as we think them. Thank you to a friend who messaged me this week with words of kind platitudes and compliments. I intend to pay that kind of encouragement forward.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.