Saturday, June 1, 2013

the STANDard :: june

i had the sincere honor of singing at yet another memorial service this past week.  this one for a 32 year old young lady that i met here in Montana maybe 4 or 5 years ago.  an absolute delight to be around, Geoffrey (pronounced Jo-free) was funny, stylish, smart and perceptive. we met at FreshLife and continued to run into each other at Bible study, church and even Target occasionally.  small town living!  we even wound up hanging out in Great Falls, MT a couple of years ago when we both happened to be there to see Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, speak at an event! small world.

this marks the 5th memorial service i've sung at since december.  there've been others that i was unable to attend this year.  meaning: life is short.  the services i've attended (so far) were for men and women, children, young adults. all different ages. all different circumstances. life is short.  

one of the things that blew everyones minds at Geoffreys memorial was the fact that on her computer, the family found clear instructions regarding the memorial service itself.  down to some graphic design elements she'd already put together herself!  she was a gifted, creative designer.  she had written a letter to her family and friends.  she had made plans.  her death was not planned, the day was unknown.  yet it was inevitable. 

Geoffrey had suffered from Marfan Syndrome most of her life.  Marfan Syndrome is a disorder of the connective tissue.  connective tissue holds all parts of the body together and helps control how the body grows.  because connective tissue is found throughout the body, Marfan syndrome features can occur in many different parts of the body, but most often it's found to affect the heart, blood vessels, bones, joints, and eyes. sometimes the lungs and skin are also affected.  she knew her time was limited.  and she was ready. she lived every day with an eternal perspective.

on the beautifully designed program she had this verse: Acts 20:24... "but none of these things move me; nor do i count my life dear to myself, so that i may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which i received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God".

these words were written by Paul... who knew only to expect hardship, imprisonment and pain based on what the Spirit revealed to him.  yet he said, fine! let's do this! bring it! it's all about Jesus anyway. what mattered to Paul, and clearly what mattered to Geoffrey, was that their lives had eternal significance.  not just running the race, but running it with JOY.  not just finishing the race, but accomplishing the goal of sharing the grace of God with everyone HE put in their path.

Paul said..."none of these things move me" in regards to verses 22-23 in which he reveals the fact that he was headed to Jerusalem knowing full well that trouble awaited.  not just trouble, but potential death.   he in essence is saying that his trials and sufferings were not enough to make him walk away from the truth of Christ.  i watched this play out in Geoffreys life as well, in the few short years i was acquainted with her.  her disease and consistent pain were not enough to cause her to forfeit her inheritance in Heaven.  she acknowledged that this place, this Earth is temporary.  she wholeheartedly believed that Heaven was where she'd be home and whole.  and that is true for her today!  she is home. and she is whole.

as my verse to memorize and mediate on this month i've chosen Acts 20:24.  in Geoffrey's honor.  totally inspired by her life and convicted by her JOY.

Acts 20:24
but none of these things move me; nor do i count my life dear to myself so that i may finish my race with JOY! and the ministry which i received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.


Momma L said...

Thank you for capturing her service with your words. I am just one of many cousins too far away to attend services, so thank-you. Just an amazing gal.

Unknown said...

Amen! Simply beautiful and well said