Today’s Reading: John 14:10 (NIV)
[Jesus said], “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work.”
Comfort is the one word I would use to describe Meredith’s memorial service yesterday at the VA Complex at Jefferson Memorial. The place was packed out (standing room only) with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, scrapbook buddies, and all who had come to know and love my friend through the years. We gathered to honor and remember the woman who had touched so many lives with her outgoing personality and genuine compassion. I heard lots of funny stories about Meredith, and some of the nuances of how she lived out her days. I think one of the most profound statements about her life came from one of her supervisors, who simply said that Meredith “paid attention.” She paid attention to everyone around her, and was more concerned about how they were doing, than how she was doing. It is a rare quality to live a selfless life. I believe this is why Meredith stood out in the crowd.
Our daughter Rachel was there. We sat on the back row together with her husband David, and shared a box of Kleenex tissue. Rachel was determined to get to the memorial service, even after she had an outpatient procedure earlier that day. I know it was an extraordinary effort on her part, and yet, Meredith’s family was worth it. I believe they were truly touched by the outpouring of love for their daughter. In times of grief and sorrow, it is comforting to know that others care. My friend would have been just a little embarrassed by all the fuss and I think she would have been pleased knowing her parents and sister are being taken care of in such a wonderful way.
Repeatedly during the course of the memorial service, it was said that we can carry Meredith inside our hearts and share her love with others by how we choose to live out the rest of our days. Isn’t that what Jesus was trying to convey to His disciples that night? He said, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and He is in me?” Jesus came to share the Father’s love with a world desperate to know Him. Jesus is fully human, yet fully divine, making available God’s perfect love in human flesh. His love is relational – the kind of love that puts on skin and expresses itself in ways that we can see and touch and truly understand. When we fall in love with Jesus, He comes and lives inside our hearts. In His love, we reach out and share the Father’s love the people He has placed in our path.
Meredith did this very well, and for me, this was a term of endearment. I pray this morning that my friends, family and coworkers will experience the love of Christ in me. Who knows – they may even glimpse Meredith’s goofy smile radiating from my face.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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