Friday, September 19, 2014

Coming to the end of the day.......

This morning Ken and I attended the funeral for the wife of our friend from High School.  It may seem odd to say this, but it was a really good service.  There were many, many people there. The Pastor was wonderful.  It was very clear through out the service that Cheryl knew Jesus and she was now at home, in heaven.  The best part of the homily was that the Pastor challenged everyone to make a commitment to live fully for Jesus.  He said "don't muck around the edges" .  He then said "this is the time to just do a cannonball off the high dive! Just jump in and be fully immersed in Jesus"   I loved this!  What a great picture!  I doubt that there was anyone sitting in those pews that could leave the church without thinking about where they are personally with Jesus.  There were two more things that I really liked about this service.  First, there were no flowers.  I know that this might sound silly (and some people might be very upset by this).  But I spent more than 20 years as a church secretary and I can tell you, the aroma of "funeral flowers" lingers for a long time.  This family had requested no flowers and I was happy to see that request was honored.  The second thing was the funeral pall (the covering over the casket during the church service).  It was a beautiful white fabric that looked quilted with a light blue cross.  It looked like a warm, soft quilt.  At one point in the service, the Pastor talked about the 23rd Psalm.  And he also mentioned that Cheryl had sung "I am Jesus' little lamb" and he leaned over the casket and said, "and now Jesus is holding her in his loving arms."  It was as if that quilt with the cross was just a picture of that message.  The music during the service was comforting and uplifting, the last hymn was "I Know that My Redeemer Lives".  A good way to end this service.

Later in the day, Ken and I decided to drive into Chicago so that Ken could photograph the sunset.
This was my view when we parked the car.  Yep, that is the Adler Planetarium (with my shadow).  We got downtown in record time for a Friday night, surprisingly by taking all back roads - no interstates or tollways!  And then we actually found a great parking space (thanks to signs posted all along the roadway that said "NO PARKING".  However on close inspection the signs were for TOMORROW!  I am sure most people thought they could not park there today!)  Ken set up his camera and I sat and watched the people and the lake.  And the sunset!
 As the sun dropped below the buildings, you could sense the coming darkness.  But then the lights began appearing on the skyline.   We stayed until the city was alive with lights.   I couldn't help but see the connection between these two events today.  Cheryl's life here on earth was done... you could sense the darkness coming....but then there was the amazing light of Jesus shining through.  And you know that she is alive with Him, basking in His light.    It was a perfect ending to this day.

Jesus, thank you for speaking to me so clearly today.  Continue to bring peace and comfort to Cheryl's family and friends.  Thank you for her church and Pastor Mueller.  Holy Spirit, encourage all of us to take that jump off of the high dive, and become immersed in Jesus.  Thank you for lakes and buildings and sunsets.  Amen

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