I’ve been to three funerals this month and have been without air conditioning for almost two weeks during a heat wave in Kansas City. The funerals were for a 14-month-old boy, an elderly couple who ended their own lives and a 34-year-old man. The 14-month-old boy quit breathing in his sleep. The 34-year-old man died after his body was overcome by disease.
The parents of the 14-month-old by are some of the most godly people that I know. The 34-year-old man loved God and occasionally fixed our vehicles or gave us advice on household handy work. The elderly couple were parents of a dear friend of mine who leads a local ministry.
Between funerals, my husband, Jerome, and I took a vacation in Nashville where we visited his college roommates. His roommates that ate his deep-fried chicken necks now lead worldwide ministries. Steve Murrell and Rice Broocks both lead Every Nations Ministries and their first pastor, Walter Walker, housed us in Nashville. The reunion in the middle of the string of funerals was a reminder of the fragility of life.
Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel in Redding, CA, said that in his own health battles that he realized what really mattered was being close to the people he loves. “You’re never going to regret not taking that job when you stand before the throne,” he said (my paraphrase). “What you will regret is not being at the little league game to watch your kid play.”
The deaths of the toddler, elderly couple and young man also showed me one thing that death can’t touch. Actually, a friend and pastor, J.D. King shared about this at the young man’s funeral. While the young man’s wife and three little children sat on the front row, Pastor J.D. reminded us through tears:
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39, MEV).
“Death is untimely and this is so wrong,” he said. “But there is a power that is greater than death that can’t be stopped. Nothing can stop the love of God.” I realized while crying with the young widow that death is unjust, but God is just. He is just and He is good and nothing can stop the power of His love.
There’s a power to love that overcomes death that we have yet to experience. The simple act of tickling your toddler, calling your elderly parents or laughing at a young man’s jokes are holy moments of the love of God. I look for grand, movie-star-like moments of God’s glory, yet His love is always moving, bringing life, change and transition. May you know God’s love in the ordinary, mundane moments of life that death has yet to end.
Leilani Haywood, is the online editor for SpiritLed Woman and author of Ten Keys to Raising Kids That Love God. An award-winning writer, Leilani blogs at Keeping It Real: The Leilani Life. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.