We traveled across the mountains this week. It was a quick but important trip to a city on the eastern border of our state where we joined a host of people honoring the life of a dear friend. It was a powerful time. It's taken me three days to be able to write about it with any clarity. Too many conversations, too many images, too many tears and laughter and eloquence from those who spoke have stilled my fingers here.
Her son told me, "This is the last part of her dying."
I suppose that's as good a place as any to start. We came from all over to pay our respects to this extraordinary life. She wouldn't have called her life extraordinary, of course. She simply lived the life she was given, was faithful in all her endeavors. A better word for her life, perhaps, is seamless. It's a wonderful word for who she was, how she lived. As a quilter, I've thought about seams. I've looked at pillow-cases, for example, and marveled that most of the time, they have a single seam holding them together. T-shirts can come the same way without a single seam in the body of the shirt. This seamlessness is the best metaphor I know for what a life as Jesus' disciple should look like. It isn't about necessarily doing extraordinary acts that put a person on the global map. It's about living each day as His, doing the work one's been called to, being in relationship, even laughing and vacationing as a gift of oneself, and a gift to others.
My friend lived a seamless life. The testimonies about her were of a piece: she was relational, she was a care-giver, she was honest and wise and transparent. Over and over, we heard the same words until I realized that we were really hearing God say, "Well-done, good and faithful servant!" straight through all of us to the one who is at home with Him. Hearing Him say it FOR us, so we knew how pleased he was with this quiet life well-lived.
Every life is more complicated than straightforward. I know this. Each of us is given a whole truckload of gifts (BY GOD!!!) with which we are to serve others and glorify Him. My gifts aren't the same as my friends. I could no more duplicate her life than I could be a professional athlete. But what I can do is live my own seamless life, doing and being who He created me to be, each quiet day or each loud one.
My friend's brother was one of the speakers to give testimony of her life, and he ended his remarks with words from their dad: "She was who she was meant to be."
I gasped at those words. So profound, so loving, so full of what Father God was also saying. And they've stuck with me. Let that sentence be my aim. Let it be the aim of each of us--to become who we were meant to be.
This is RJD over at Dawn's blog. But instead of posting an old journal entry, I am simply posting this--it's my personal privilege to have been this woman's friend, and I'd love to share her with others.
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