Wednesday, December 01, 2010
A New Day
There is something motivating about the start of a new month as we set plans and goals on a new page of the calendar. After a very emotional week, this new month is extra special;- a gift of time to enjoy life and make a difference in the lives of others.
Our friend Jim was laid to rest yesterday. The tears which were shed at the service would fill a lake yet there was reason to celebrate a life well spent. I always hope the deceased will hear what is said at a funeral, especially when the tributes were as loving as the ones shared by family and friends. We realize how important it is to share what people mean to us before they are gone.
A couple of things stood out to me, characteristics which made this man’s life special in many ways. He was a very successful business man, an exceptional family man and a pillar in serving the church we attend. I believe it was his son who commented that he never criticized others, only encouraged them. In thinking back, I realized this was true. In our world this is a very rare character trait as negativity, sarcasm and criticism run deep in our society. Jim proved that being a positive, encouraging person does not make you a doormat, and it is possible to be successful without being negative.
The other gift he had was making many people feel he was their best friend and confidant. He took a genuine interest in others and listened to them without inserting his opinions. Many people are self-centred in their relationships which sets them up to be easily offended if others do not act in a certain way toward them.
One of our pastors is a beautiful woman who lost a young son and a middle-aged husband to cancer. Her words were spoken from a heart which has had more than its share of grief, yet without bitterness. She emphasized that Jim’s dear wife and family need the time to grieve and that healing comes through grieving. In our fast-paced world we sometimes expect people to get over a loss quickly and get on with life. People used to wear mourning clothes for extended periods of time and society allowed them the time to enter a new normal routine. I follow the posts of bloggers Eileen and Ruth who have recently lost their husbands prematurely. They both have a strong faith in God, but the journey is not easy in the months after a significant loss.
So this new calendar month is a good time to evaluate what is most important, to be a good listener, and encourager and to consider each day as a gift to share with others with joy and gratitude.
This song was shared at the end of Jim's service as a slide show of his life was presented. Written and performed by Chris Tomlin, its words were very meaningful.