This weekend, I attended a memorial service for a precious woman who recently lost her fight with cancer. Although I was not a close friend of Teresa’s, she touched my life with her sweet spirit and encouraging manner.
I contemplated many things during the poignant service. It was evident that her family could rejoice amid this tragedy; their beloved mom/wife is in heaven with Jesus where there is no pain and no tears. Our pastor used the phrase “grieving with hope”. I reflected on the hopelessness that often accompanies services such as this. We could focus on the tragedy of young daughters losing their mother and a husband losing his wife of 22 years; we could focus on bereft co-workers and friends. But I am so thankful that Jesus gives us the ability to grieve with hope. As Christians, our lives here are so short compared to the magnitude of eternity. And I am so grateful that I get to spend eternity with Jesus (and with sisters in Christ like Teresa).
I also began to reflect on how I live my life. If this was my memorial service, who would be here? (And I don’t intend to be self-indulgent— “oh please tell me there will be hundreds of weeping people at my service”). No, I mean: Who have I touched? Do I invest in someone every day? Do I show the love of Christ in my actions to every person I encounter?
If I am honest, I have to say no. I fall short. Too often, I am in a hurry and rush past someone who could be hurting. Sometimes, I am too wrapped up in my day to make eye contact with the grocery store cashier, to say an encouraging word to the guy making my latte at Starbucks, or to say a prayer for the homeless man on the street. I prioritize things over people. I focus on my to-do list instead of relationships.
One by one, Teresa’s friends and family stood up and spoke about her selflessness. They talked about the way she pointed others to Christ, the way she never talked about her own illness, pain or struggles. Teresa did not just go through The Motions:
I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
Instead of going through the motions?”
I want to be like Teresa. Instead of just going through the motions.