The time we spent celebrating and remembering Jason's life was well thought out and encouraging. First and foremost, Jason's life as a child of God was celebrated. Photographs, airplanes, and favorite things were there to represent who he was and what was important to him during his time on earth. Amy, his sister-in-law, and his three siblings gave testimony to how they will remember Jason and his jovial, loving personality.
My husband, my daughter, and myself (Aaron sat with Jason's family) were seated in, what I now realize, the prime prayer position. We were beside the family and as friends and family filed toward the front of the auditorium to pay their respects, we were able to clearly see the countenance of Christi, her parents, and Jason's parents as they greeted every visitor. It was not planned that a receiving line be formed, but as people approached, the desire to comfort won out. Christi, and the family, stood to accept condolences. What I witnessed was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It was obvious that the time was healing and encouraging to the family, Christi, in particular. I was in awe by her love and authenticity.
As each person came through the line, Christi's attention was unwavering. She listened to every word. She cried and or laughed and hugged as each individual need was revealed. She even comforted others. Nearly one thousand exchanges, she stood strong.
The scene reminded me of Jesus and his love that never tires. The many times he must have greeted thousands in one day without tiring, individually addressing all of their needs. And how God is so gracious to treat us each that way now.
Never in a million years would I choose Jason's life to have ended so suddenly and tragically. But, as a result, lives are changed for the good somewhere along the way.
I am grateful to have known him and been inspired by him. And the recent events have caused me to not want to waste a single minute with my husband, with my children, with my family or with my friends. I have wasted too much already and don't want to waste anymore. As I ponder these things, I evaluate the health of my own relationships. I am grateful that my husband and I always kiss each other good bye and say, "I love you." I do the same with my children and my parents. Most of my friends know how special they are to me and how much I appreciate them. There is one relationship, that should one of us die today, it would not be where I would want it to be, but I know I have tried. I apologized for my mistakes and asked for reconciliation. I am sad that it was refused, that she has chosen to cut me out of her life. (See blog Eyes on Heaven for subscribers) But God will use even that for me to grow and love others with more passion and compassion than before. I am blessed by what I learned from her and the friendship that we had while we had it.
God gives opportunity to turn everything around, especially our attitudes. I am here today and I choose to make the most of it. His name is Wonderful!
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.