The Memorial Service
This past weekend Grace held its Service of Remembrance. (It’s a generic memorial service where people can grieve lost loved ones prior to the holidays, which can be a difficult season for those mourning.)
When I was asked to speak at this event, I said, “No,” and I’m pretty certain I answered before they even finished the question. After all, death and dying freak me out.
That night, I was telling Jonathan about how I was asked and how I wanted to do it about as much as a fish wants to hang out in the desert.
“That’s a great opportunity for you to minister to others who are hurting,” he said. “And you love to speak! I think you should pray about doing it.” I knew he was right, but I was so turned off by the idea of it that I even had little interest in praying about it.
I. Don’t. Do. Memorials. (Are you getting the picture that I was NOT excited about this? I’m sure you see where this is going…)
I started praying, and slowly God changed my heart. He brought to mind how I had prayed that He would use me…and that He would provide speaking opportunities. And it SIGNIFICANTLY helped when I realized that there wouldn’t be any dead bodies there. 🙂
And so, I retracted my “No” and offered my services.
I shared about a significant loss in my life – Esther, a dear friend who died in 2002. (Who knew that 8.5 years after her death Esther would still be touching lives?) I tried to include general aspects of my mourning in my talk that most people could (hopefully) relate to – seeing the loved one for the last time, remembering a piece of advice they gave you or things you laughed about, struggling on the anniversary of their death, keeping their memories alive, and seeing them again one day in heaven.
In the end, I’m glad I did it. I got to share about someone who was dear to my life, and hopefully I touched others in the process.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” –Matthew 5:4