When my father died this spring it was a completely unexpected death. One of the first things we needed to do when making arrangements for his funeral was to gather pictures. The funeral director we worked with has a picture video made up for the family of the deceased that plays during the visitation time of the funeral. He asked us to bring in 50 to 100 pictures with the maximum up to around 150. Immediately my mother, sister, and I started thinking of significant events and pictures that would most represent the life of my father. It was hard to narrow it down. His life illuminated joy in so many ways. Most funerals I have attended there are picture boards, albums, and/or a video to view to provide a small glimpse of the life we have gathered to mourn the loss of. The pictures often provide healing as they bring remembrance of the blessing this person’s life has been to us. Pictures allow the mourning to turn to celebration and reflection. Many times the pictures will bring a smile or laughter as the memories of the loved one come alive.
As I think of my father, other family members, friends, and church family who have gone on home to Jesus there are pictures that flash into my own memory. Not physical pictures, but the image of their smile, the sound of their laugh, the sound of their voice, significant acts of kindness given to a young girl, and kindnesses shared even into my adulthood. So many loving saints that have formed me into the person I am today.
The memories flooding my mind of loved ones who have passed have gotten me to thinking about these pictures. What pictures will I leave for my family? What joys and moments are significant enough to them to make up the picture board or video? What mental images will flood their minds when remembering my life?
Will the pictures of our lives be of joy, kindness, love, understanding, forgiveness, selflessness, faithfulness, peace, gentleness, self-control, and goodness? Or when others think of our life on earth will there be the remembrance of selfishness, hatred, bitterness, and anger? There are people who have gone on that the latter is what I remember of their life. To remember someone in this manner brings a tremendous feeling of sadness for a life wasted. Thankfully there are very few individuals that I have to remember this way.
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
There is no better way for a life to be pictured than God’s way!! This is what I want my 50-100 pictures to represent. What are your 50-100 pictures?