It was a sad winter for my family when we had to say good-bye to my father-in-law. His health had been failing for quite some time, but we thought we had more time.
There is never enough time with the ones that we love.
Our Facebook pages were flooded with kind words from friends and family. The comments spoke to the person my husband’s father was. A wonderful friend. I learned so much from him. Honourable. Thoughtful. Humble. Always willing to help. A kind and gentle person.
Death has a way of reminding us of this. This thing we so often forget as we work and work and work — that at the end of it all, what matters most isn’t what we did but who we are. That is what people remember. We read the comments again and again, because they’re beautiful, because they remind us of who David was, because they remind us of the kind of people we want to be. People full of the love of Jesus.
I want to be someone remembered for His love in me.
It’s a beautiful and radical thing that during his final hours before his death Jesus was found in a room with his closest friends, on his knees, washing their feet. God in flesh, King of the world, humble servant. Giving his final words of wisdom: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34, NIV)
Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another – John 13:34 (NIV)
Jesus has shown us what it means to be human. To love and grieve, to serve and worship — his life is our perfect example of a beautiful life, a God-filled life, a spirit-led life. Teresa of Avila once famously wrote, “Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” This is our task, as the resurrected Jesus now dwells in each of us, to be his hands, his feet, his heart.
During my family’s low season, as we walked through the days of grief, we knew this love deeply, tenderly. Friends sent thoughtful texts, and when I could summon up only enough energy to play Sudoku on the living room couch, they came by with coffees and groceries, with baskets of soup and bread and wine, with bags of cookies and big pans of butter chicken, with cake pops and lego kits for the boys. Somehow we were carried along on the kindness of others, and their kindness made me cry for an entirely different reason. That even in the pain there is something beautiful to be found — friendship, compassion, generosity.
Yes, I know what it means to be nourished by the Christ in others. I have been fed, have tasted his grace even in the lowest of moments. As I look at the cross this Easter, at the face of divine love and beauty, my heart is ignited. This is the best way — the only way — to live.