First, because I wrote about it (twice) here's a picture of the quilt RE and I made last week.
What I'm really thinking about tonight is the sum of a life. What it adds up to, when all the factors are put together on paper, all the equations are made. Yesterday Beve and I traveled south to our state's capital where we joined our dear friends for the resurrection service of D's dad's life. This man, a stately, thoughtful man was also a brilliant one, a man renown in his field, respected by his peers, admired by all who came in contact with him.
But there was something startling to me about reading the condensed version of his life in the bulletin. I mean, there was just so much breadth and depth and diversity to his interests and travels...and the lives he touched. To have such a life so summed as his, I thought.
But then his sons stood and talked about their father. Told some funny stories--the kind of stories only sons who love their dads could tell. They could tell such stories because their dad had had a way with funny stories too--they said that; they learned it from him (even when he told the same story over and over). And they made the grieving company begin to smile and laugh. And then those two tall men spoke of the deep truths of what their dad had meant to them--that he'd had integrity, that he'd always worked hard at whatever he'd been asked (or employed) to do. And that--ESPECIALLY that--he'd taught them how to love their wives by loving his wife so well. He'd loved his wife so well, he'd made them better husbands.
These truths aren't exactly credentials you might see on a resume, but they are the sum of a man's life. They add up to everything. That a person's child can stand up and say, "You made me a better spouse to my spouse simply by being your child, by being saturated in the love you had for your spouse." I was awed by those words from those two tall man, so like their dad. And the one, my Beve's friend, so like my Beve. It felt like the holiest of moments, like the moment when the Father looked in and said, "Well done," to that dad. Well done, for a life well-lived and a life well-loved, and having loved well.
Tonight as I'm thinking about it, it makes me consider that we all have to face such a day. Or, perhaps I should say, we must prepare for a day when our beloveds will have to face it about us (unless we outlive them all). What will the sum of my life be? What will be the great truths of my life--not just the biological and chronological facts--but the actual truths of my life be when I am in His throne room too busy praising to care?
It may not matter to me then, but if it matters to my children, it matters. More importantly, if it matters to God who I am in this world, it matters to me. So again, what will the sum of my life be?
And what will yours?