God’s Bouquet

I found myself last week cleaning up after a funeral  for a young boy in which 800 people attended. As I rushed around vacuuming up flower petals and green leaves I found it odd to think three hours from now nobody would know from looking at this building that such an event had even taken place.  The rooms would be straightened, the floors washed, the furniture dusted in eager anticipation of the next event. I thought to myself the world stops for no one even in death. No sooner had that thought taken shape in my mind when the pastor walked in and asked me if I wanted to take some flowers home. It seemed that with such a large turnout for the funeral the family had taken all the flowers they had room for and the ones left behind were open to any who wanted to enjoy them. I picked a simple arrangement adorned in a wicker basket. The pastor remarked there was not many flowers in that one but I had admired it for its simplicity and knew it would suit our old farm-house. Now done for the day  I placed the flower arrangement on our worn wooden table and stood back to admire the vibrant colours that burst forth from the greenery. Again I thought the world stops for no one. Even these flowers meant to mark sorrow and death were recycled to my table to inspire joy and beauty.  Alone with my thoughts I became aware of another odd coincidence. Many years ago an unusually large funeral just like the one that had taken place that week  had occurred in my past. It was the death of my uncle and it was his funeral  that was the catalyst that started me down the road on a journey for Christ that would change my life forever. I remember it was not jut the sheer size of the funeral that made such an impression  it was the people who came that made an impact. Not just his family and friends came but also His butcher , his wife’s hairdresser ,  and his bank teller . My uncle was a simple man who loved the Lord with all his heart and it seemed to give him the ability to connect with everyone he met on a deeply personal level. He had a way of making you feel special and his outpouring of love and concern made you feel better even if your life was chaos. It was as if the fragrance of God permeated everything he did and the vibrant outpouring of his love made his life a beautiful bouquet just like the flowers that now graced my table. I remember asking the pastor if the boy was saved and he said judging from what the people asked to speak had to say he thought he was and that brought a smile to my heart. Thinking back the pastor said he had never seen such an outpouring of love for someone who had  passed. He said young men stood in the  aisle and openly wept alongside the girls. Even the boy’s cardiologist came. Two of the speakers preached the gospel to the crowds and one of them directed his speech directly at the young friends of the boy who had passed. From the description that was given from the pastor it was clear that everyone leaving that funeral had been introduced to Christ before they left. Again I thought here was a funeral full of mourners who instead of being cloaked in death were being surrounded by the fragrance of the Lord that arose from the vibrant life of this young boy and the people who were important in his life.  I thought about how death which should end in sorrow could become a picture of joy and beauty if permeated by the beautiful fragrance of a life lived for the Lord. If life stops for no one even in death isn’t it important that when it’s over it represents something that says that life was worth living. I wondered if my life was suddenly cut short would it be a beautiful bouquet created to reflect the eternal vibrancy of Christ or would it be a shroud of wilted greenery signifying nothing but death just waiting to be vacumed up by time.  It’s funny how an event involving someone you never met can make you take stock of where you really sit with Christ. It also brought home to me how important it is  to stop and reflect on where you have been and asked yourself the question is my life being lived for Christ. I can honestly say that I have more than a few changes to make.


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