I’ve always had opinions about end of life things. Strong ones. And I haven't been open to much discussion on the subject.
I thought if you planned your funeral, it meant that you were giving up.
And I don’t plan to ever give up.
But after my friend Marilyn’s service, I left with a different view.
Every scripture, every song—all but the minister’s sermon were selected by her.
Now, I still think that some folks are too quick to accept any negative news, to become hopeless and don’t pray and seek the Lord, as they ought. But for sure, Marilyn was not one of those. She even suggested a healing service in her church, which introduced so many to the amazing healing power of the Lord. She lived far longer than anyone imagined she would with her difficult illness. But, somehow, she knew her end was near. So she wrote letters to her family, and planned the order of worship for her memorial.
This past Saturday, I sat on the edge of my seat during her service, writing down the scripture references, not wanting to miss any words she had to share.
After it was all done, I realized she had but one message in her life and in her death, and that message was Jesus.
What she did for me even after she’d gone to be with the Lord, is what she’d always done for me when she lived. She pointed to the only One who could make a difference in our lives. And for me, it was one more precious, precious, gift from her to me.
So, I’m changing my mind about preplanning memorial services. It’s a good thing when we can make sure we leave those we love with one final message of the saving grace of Jesus.
The last song in the service was the one below. I’ve played it about a dozen times since Saturday afternoon. Perhaps, in some way, it can be Marilyn’s gift to you, too.