Author Topic: Something special to me.  (Read 222 times)


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Something special to me.
« on: October 21, 2017, 12:57:12 PM »
It is coming up on a year since my wife died. Today I was going through old emails and I came across a copy of the eulogy that one of the pastors of my church gave at her funeral. He did a wonderful job of distilling her essence from the memories my family and I shared with him. Honestly I am not sure why I feel the need to post it here but I have never been skilled at introspection so I am just going to do it.

It is long, and comes from a very particular world view.

Suppose you had never read the Bible and didn’t know anything about God. You open up the Bible to the beginning and you start reading. The Bible begins with a description of the creation of all things. It’s in the form of poetry, and toward the end of the poem, the creation of humans is explained. But there is something unique, a curious difference about humans over all other creatures: They are described as being made in God’s image and in his likeness. God made people in his image—he made us like him so that we could bring his love and justice, his joy and peace, and his kindness and goodness into the world.

You’re reading this poem about God creating the world and then you get to this part about humans being made in God’s image. What do you know about God at this point? You know that God creates things and orders things. You know that God creates beautiful and good things. So what can you conclude? If people were made to show God’s image into the world, and God is creative, then people must also be creative.

Chris was a clear and incredible picture of God’s creativity.

Let me read the first three verses of the Bible.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And then God said, let there be light.

The Bible describes these moments before creation begins and formless and empty. There is no order, nothing that could support life, and then God begins to give things an order.

Can you see that this is exactly what Chris was like?

God wanted to show you that God is an artist. God could have shown you that directly, but he thought it was a better idea to give Chris a unique part of God’s creativity and then bring Chris into your life to show you how creative and life-giving God as a Father can really be.

All of you who know Chris know that she was a designer, a builder, a painter, an artist. She was extremely talented, and extremely willing to use those talents for your benefit. She painted murals on walls, she made new walls and tore down others. She remodeled and repainted. She chose colors, built shelves, and rearranged furniture. Or as she put it in her journal: “I am environmentally and spatially obsessed.”
She found joy in making spaces more livable, functional, useful, and beautiful. One of her gifts was recognizing the problems: as one family member put it, “she had a keen insight into the crux of the problem. She saw how it was, and she saw how it should be.”

What struck me as I talked to Matt, Chris, Andy, Karen and the rest of the family was that it wasn’t just about making physical spaces more livable and beautiful. It was about making life more livable and more beautiful. It was as if Chris carved out and designed space for her family and friends to thrive.

The way she coordinated life for her boys when they were young. The way she hosted parties. The way she helped her mom and her mother in law when their husbands died. The way she meticulously worked to ensure her boys had a great education. The way she planned vacations. All of that was a way of ordering and moving life around so that the people she loved—her family—could thrive.

Chris was bringing God’s goodness, beauty and love back into all of creation through her giving heart. She was an incredibly giving person—it’s not something she was trying to be or trying work at to be a better person. It’s just who she was. Constantly giving of herself to make life better for others—for all of you. She wrote recently in a journal, that her biggest achievement was giving birth and raising her boys. When she reflected on her own life, the thing that made her most proud was literally creating new life for others—for her sons.

Each of us reflects a piece of God’s Image. We were made to teach each other about who God is. And each of us reflects God differently. Chris was a woman made in the image of God.

You could see this in the way she forgave others. You could see it in the way she brought peace and order to a crisis. You could see this in the way she enjoyed nature and outdoors. You could see this in the way she worked with the Motion Initiative, organizing and repairing bikes for those in need. You could see this in her trustworthiness—how everyone trusted her eye, her vision for life, and her gut. She could see what others couldn’t, and that is a reflection of our Creator God.

All those moments of genuine care and concern; all those moments of patience; all those times she cared for her family, her friends—those were all the way God chose to show us that God is cares about us. Chris—like each of us—was a reflection of God.

The song we just sang is How Great Thou Art. Let me re-read the words to you of the first verses.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Refrain:Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

And I would say that when we look at the life Chris lived, and the impression she left on this world for good, this too causes us—even through our tears—to marvel at God’s greatness displayed to us in a beautiful life so well-lived.

Chris has left a heritage for us by the way she lived her life. These are traditions and values that she has handed down to you: beauty, creativity, self-sacrifice, compassion, love, service, faithfulness, kindness, and goodness. These are the parts of Chris that will live on in you if you let them.

Matt, everything Chris did was for you. Her whole life was for you and your 2 incredible sons. All that she did for you and the legacy she left for you—it is all yours. It is yours to have and remember and cherish. It is yours to give and to share and to grow. Chris’s love was the kind that was present even when she was not. It is still that kind of love. And we thank you and your boys, and Chris’s parents and siblings for sharing her with us.

Let’s pray.

Father, we thank you for Chris. You brought so much good into this world through her. And that is why we miss her more than words can describe. That is why losing her is so painful. We have lost a great, great woman, and now we trust her to you. As we mourn, please help us and be near to us. Chris is a person worth celebrating and honoring. Help us to know how to honor her—give us the courage to be compassionate and kind and good like she was. And give us the strength to care for each other.

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
-Corrie Ten Boom