Yesterday I was at a thanksgiving service for the life of a truly lovely lady.
It was the first funeral I’ve been to since my Dad died in last March, so it caught me by surprise. I was sad to be saying goodbye to a woman who I was delighted to have as an aunty when I got married. But I was not upset. She had a sure and certain hope of eternity with God, and we gathered to thank God for her life; rejoicing in hope that we would one day see her again.
What got me though – what caught me so that, for a just a few seconds, I could not get air in my lungs – was the open grave.
I’ve been to many funerals in my life, but the site of an open grave did not give me real pain, until my mother’s body was committed to the ground 10 years ago. And just last year when my dad was buried, I felt that same sharp pain of seeing the coffin lowered. It’s not easy to watch.
Different from my usual ‘Irish’ experience of funerals, my aunty was buried first. Then we went to the church for a service and some food. I liked it that way around, we did the hardest bit first.
The sight of an open grave though… the idea of putting someone you love in there… it made me think of when Jesus’ friends had to ask permission to take his body down. Then they placed Him in the borrowed tomb; someone else’s grave. No polished coffin with a brass name plate. No flowers, or photos of him. John 19 tells us that His body was treated with spices and wrapped in cloths… by his own friends.
I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been.
A bit dismal for Valentine’s Day?
Well, yesterday, people paid tribute to a woman who loved her family and loved her God. A woman who was loved by her God. We could place her body in that ugly open grave, comforted by resurrection truth.
It was all for love; God so LOVED THE WORLD that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
So no matter who responds, no matter who believes – we are ALL loved. xx ❤
photo credit: Six Feet Under via photopin (license)
photo credit; Garden Tomb 07 via photopin(license)
photo credit: Like This, I Love You, as You Smile so Light as the Water of the Spring…. via photopin (license)