Free of the Pastel Ribbons…

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The funeral I attended today was beautiful…if funerals can be “beautiful”… Still, it was genuinely celebratory…and the friend who died had requested birthday balloons and a big birthday cake with the number “1” on it — to commemorate the start of her new life with Jesus…

Birthday balloons floated in the sanctuary and the reception hall…and danced…only with pastel ribbons keeping them tethered to Earth…

Truly, you felt His Presence, His joy in the middle of all the “good-byes”… Death is ugly and horrible, but He turns it all around, in little ways and big ways and incrementally and all of a sudden, creating beauty out of ashes somehow… I’ve gone to several funerals, too many, actually…but the ones that were “beautiful” were for friends who knew Jesus…not just knew about Him, but knew Him, as if He were their best friend… There was a supernatural peace and joyful exuberance that graced the deep pain of loss and grief…

In addition, today, watching how all my friend’s “church family” worked to help her “blood family,” how each was gracious and kind and loving in all they did this afternoon, including cooking and setting up everything and greeting everyone, doing jobs that no one would relish for such a sad occasion…well…it makes me want to become an active member of a church…not just a name on a church register. I saw what it means to be an active part of the Body of Christ…part of a loving Church…His hands and feet at work on Planet Earth… And that was incredibly beautiful and inspiring…

One day, we’ll all celebrate together down the road, where time will not decay and nothing can hurt anyone ever again…in the Presence of the King…at His banquet…at our receptions given by Him just for us…because He loves each of us that much…and where my friend is right now, reunited with all her loved ones who’ve gone before her… Free of the pastel ribbons, dancing with joy, and sailing high above…


“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
–1 Corinthians 15:55

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