Occasionally I have the honor of running sound for some of the memorial services held at my church. I’ve done maybe 15 or 20 total, but surprisingly, only once have I personally known the deceased. Most of them have been folks that were well beyond 70 and had lived long lives.
At a memorial service, obviously tears abound from the evident sorrow and heartache. But as the anonymous sound guy in the back I have been blessed by these services. As I complete my sound-guy duties, God continually puts smiles in my heart.
Last week the lady who had passed was in her late sixties and had battled Parkinson’s Disease for over 20 years. The slide show was set to some of her favorite worship songs as we witnessed varying scenes from her full life. My heart was tender as I watched a young energetic woman morph into a frail lady confined to a wheel chair, fighting an unrelenting disease. But what astonished me was how her smile got bigger, though her disease progressed.
The stories her family and friends told mirrored the woman I saw in the photos. She loved people well, and she loved Jesus.
Getting to experience memorials like these inspire me to love Jesus better and love people more. Life can be as simple as Matthew 22:37-39, when Jesus tells His disciples: “‘Love the Lord your God will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” This verse is more evident to me than any other verse during these memorials.
There were a pretty decent amount of people attending this memorial, and I could tell this wonderful lady had touched a lot of lives. Not that any one person is more or less important, but over the years I’ve seen services that had a handful of attendees and others with hundreds. Regardless of the amount who come, they are all there for the same reason. This life had touched their lives.
Whether a thousand show up to my memorial or just my wife and kids, my hope is that the people in attendance will say I loved well. And hopefully my life’s slide show can inspire whoever is running sound.