This week I have attended two funerals. I didn’t really know either of the people who died, but I know the Minister of Music at the church where the funerals were held, and my name was included on an email he sent asking for volunteers to sing in the choir, so I went.
Funerals are hard. It is both a difficulty and a relief to be in a place where everyone around you is thinking about death. We sing and say our beliefs about what death is. I think you have to say a thing from time to time in order to really believe it, and in a mysterious way, it is as much an encouragement to me to HEAR the family of Christ speaking the truth of resurrection and joy in the face of death as it ever was to experience being upheld and loved in prayer during Lucy’s life.
But that doesn’t make it easy to be there. I may have spent as much time crying as singing during the choral bits, which makes me of dubious worth as a volunteer chorister. I am the vocal equivalent of Corrie as a violinist: you get about as many squeaks as you do actual notes.
Here is my real reason for going: I have recently finished a book by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross called On Children and Death. In the book she say this: “…if you need love, give it and it will return a hundredfold.” And in another place: “If, from time to time, we look at the blessings in our lives, at the warmth and care and love so many people respond with when there is a tragedy, at the fact that we can walk and talk, eat and breathe, then maybe we would reevaluate our bad moods and become aware that all negative thoughts bring with them more negativity, but all love shared returns a thousand-fold.”
That is it! I cannot do anything big – I struggle with my life just like you struggle with yours and many days I feel lost, but I am trusting that trying to do something small in love will be worthwhile. So many things I can’t do, but I can sing and be present in a place of loss for someone else, just as you have been present for me, my friend.
James says that with God no deed done in love is ever wasted. Even if does not come out or work as we intended, He does not allow it to be lost.
Both funerals I have sat in the choirloft beside the same very kind person. Here is an example of love returning a hundredfold: she has not minded that I cried and squeaked and sang in the wrong places, but she put her arm around me and cried a bit with me and told me she was glad I was there.
That is the Lord. Showing me His love through her a hundredfold in response to the tiny act of showing up. I am grateful. – Katie