Yesterday I went to the funeral of my husband’s uncle. I had never met the man as we live a long way apart, and socialize in different family circles. The funeral was a high Church Of England service and it was actually very formal and beautiful. The traditions were quite moving and poetic, and I felt myself quite entranced by the whole thing. What struck me most about the service, was the man whose death we were there both grieving and celebrating. As I had never met him, I knew very little about him except what he did for a living and how many adult children he had. It’s quite funny that I never found out anymore about him.
As it turns out, he was an incredible man who touched the lives of many people. A devout born-again Christian, he loved the Lord and his family with every part of his being. He was godly, kind, generous, open, warm, and compassionate. Every story we heard was one of a beautiful man who lived selflessly and lovingly. He was painted as a man capable of great love and joy, and he lived it in every way. His faith was strong and with his love for the Lord came his desire to work tirelessly for Him. He fed the homeless, helped the down and out, worked in soup kitchens, counseled the broken, and loved generously and without constraint. I found myself mesmerized by the life of such a humble, faithful servant of the Lord. And to confirm his selfless life, many people who were once on the streets, on drugs and penniless, attended the funeral and shared their story of how this wonderful man was used by the Lord to change their lives and to bring them the gospel. Many of these people are now Christians and have radically altered lives. And it made me wonder why, as I was previously told about this man, no one had mentioned his love for the Lord and the great work he carried out. Why is it that he was praised for his worldly achievements but his true calling kept a secret?
It also made me wonder how many lives I have changed and touched. Are there any people at all whose life I have improved? Is there anyone who could honestly say that through knowing me, they were able to get a glimpse of the Lord? I don’t know. I like to think so but I don’t know for sure. But what I do know is that nothing we do for the Lord is wasted or goes unnoticed. The Bible tells us that He has prepared in advance good works for us to do. And when we are obedient to the Lord, and do the work He has prepared, there are eternal rewards. But even better than that, the Lord is using us to change people’s lives and to draw them to Him. We are all part of the body. We all have our place and we all have a job to do; a job that only we can do. And when we keep all of this in mind it’s not hard to serve even more joyfully than ever before.