Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Life Well Lived... A Life Remembered

Several days ago I met with a couple of friends to take photographs at a local cemetery. This location boasts pretty statues... stately trees... at the right time of day, streaks of light and incredible shadows.

Personally, I like gravesites. I know that the person isn't "there". But, it's a place. It's where I can go and trace my grandmother's name. I like to sit and trace those letters and talk to her. I tell her that I am all right. I do tear up a bit. I miss her. Now, Grandma Betty isn't here here at this cemetery. Her headstone is a few hours away. I couldn't help but think about who was "here". Whose grandmother and grandfather were they? Are they visited? Missed? Did they leave a significant impact on the lives of their family? Does anyone come trace a name and declare, "I'm all right."?

I recently heard a pastor say that our life on Earth represents .01% of eternity! That's quite something to ponder. 99.99% of our existence takes place after our time here.

Psalm 103: 13-17
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—

I really like that statue (above). I love the hands folded together. And it's rather weathered.

So, I spent an hour or so, visiting with a friend and capturing pretty little pictures. And I wondered... how do you blog about a photo shoot in a cemetery? When it comes to someone's life story, what is really important? When I think about death, I think about who that person was... what did they do for others? With others? What about God in their life? Did they know him? Were they used by our Heavenly Father to make a difference in others' lives?

And then I think about myself. Why? Because I am me. And a couple things stand out as more important... One... my name. There are a few times that I remember sharing with my Grandma Betty that mean more than any other moments with her. I was her namesake. I remember visiting at her home and her taking my face into her hands and peering into my eyes she would strongly say, "Your name is Betty. It means consecrated to God." That was a very important message that she spoke into my life. I believed her.

Ecclesiastes 7:1
1 A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.

The more I think about my own testimony, though, the more I see that it isn't about me... which brings me to point number two... it's all about God. I relate to John.

John 3:30
30 He must become greater; I must become less.

There's nothing I claim that is my own personal good. My best "good" is nothing compared to Jesus' example and love and my Heavenly Father's plans. Not to mention the Holy Spirit in my life. When it comes to my life... I fail. All the time. Any good... any gain... all love... is from God. If the time comes when my children no longer have me here, I hope that they will say of me, "She kept turning to God. Over and over." Because life gets hard! You have to know where to turn. And I hope that they will follow that example and take hold of the life that God gives... water of life that never runs dry... life that never ends... love that never fails.

Revelation 21:1-7
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

And, here's to you, Ron. You say that you don't really read what I write, you just look at the pictures... Here's hoping that you enjoy each shot... even if you don't read! Because you love photography, too! (Ron is my brother, btw)

Blessings to you, all my friends. May our lives speak for God.

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