Funerals - Traveling to the limits of our understanding
Funeral's often bring out the best in us. They help us set aside differences and focus on what really matters, and they also challenge us to make the most of the time that we have. But more than all of that, they teach us the value of even one human life.
Knowing what to say at a funeral is almost impossible. How can words capture the essence of one person or the relationships they had? Can a father really explain how much he loves his daughter or a husband his wife and the impact of that loss? Can a person adequately express their condolences for such a loss? A picture is worth a thousand, but silence is worth billions in situations like these. These are the times in life where we intuitively understand that there is more to life than time + material.
Unfortunately, it is so easy to forget this when the times are good for us. One person's wedding anniversary is another person's worst day. Pain, suffering, joy, and happiness are all mixed together in the fabric of human relationships. It may seem like a random collection of events, but that is not the end of it. The events are not random they are connected and form a picture like a giant and complex connect-the-dots. It is not an ordinary picture either since it conveys something about the character of God at the extremity of our reach.
The face of death is grotesque and revolting but once you look it in the eyes you see the hollow look of defeat. Funerals of people who shine their light and expose death for what it is also connect the dots of this picture of the character of God. They enable us to see for a brief moment with the core of our being the awesomeness of the character of God. God's glory is more important to them than their own lives. May we live like those who have been witnesses to the worth of dying for the glory of God.