How you lived? How you died? Let my life be the proof of Your love! ~for King and Country, The Proof of Your Love
On Monday, May 23, 2016, my Grandfather passed away. I was still in the process of returning to Jamestown, Kentucky from Sydney, Australia. I had made a stop in Berea, Kentucky–the town in which I graduated from Berea College and a place where I was able to gather some fundamental insights aimed at coping with my Grandfather’s passing. When someone is sick for a long time, we have time to come to terms with the unfortunate, yet blessing of death. In that time of funeral services, memories come and flood and our last encounters, last conversations, come to mind. All of our “lasts” with the loved ones who pass, matter, but don’t let them be how you remember the character, interactions, and delicate, amazing memories of the deceased. Instead, look at the proof of their love for you. That’s what I am doing now, even a week after my Grandpa’s last breath on this Earth.
As a Christian, I can look to the Last Words of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 and look to how we can manage with our Loved Ones not being with us, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”
Jesus commanded His disciples to be ACTIVE (go, baptizing, teaching) after His ascension. Jesus didn’t seem to be one who wanted people to be inside, teary-eyed and agonized with what to do next–although, this is normal and okay to do following death. Jesus wanted His disciples to be active in His last words to be able to go out and bring others into the Kingdom of God. It is my belief and my understanding that humans are created for a divine purpose and one of those purposes is to actively search, and be the proof of love of Jesus Christ. This of course, was an unconditional love that was sacrificial in it’s actions that continue even after Jesus’ ascension to be lived out on Earth by the followers of Christ.
Following the command, Jesus made comforting last words to everyone, “I am with you, always.” That’s powerful to hear that even in the midst of my hardship, obstacles, and in the major crosswords of my life, Jesus is standing right beside me! Jesus is with me now, and Jesus, a Son of God, brother to me in my Christian journey and my Savior, is supporting me in my endeavors and helping me along the way. Jesus’ last words are words to smile and be grateful for but like I said, look to the one’s entire actions and find the amazing comfort of death.
May we find comfort in reflecting upon death. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it is scary. Yes, it can bring more pain and frustration than before. But, everyone us has someone who loves us even in the midst of the absent body from the present Earth. We all may have difficult encounters, but somewhere along our lineage, past or present, someone prayed and sacrificed their love to bring you safe and sound to your current circumstance.
Last words are okay to look to for comfort or healing in time of death. But look to the person’s actions of love that came to you from their encounters with you and look to their proof of love for you and continue on with life–perhaps dedicate your actions to their memory. Whatever the case, their love is present, I promise. Look to their actions, continue moving, honor their memory and let them walk beside you as Jesus is walking beside us everyday.