Posted by: Maggie | October 22, 2007

In the Land of Royalty Today

Today, I helped serve at a funeral.  From preparing food this morning, to sitting through the service with two rows full of golden age servants packed in like they were filling youth rows on the two back pews (so they could slip out to serve), to serving drinks, and eating like there’s no tomorrow (the best food I’ve had in a LONG time)…to watching what a life well lived looks like when people mourn.  

Watching what people look like, knowing it won’t be long until their turn.  Their spouse.  Their families.  Barely able to hear for the overhangs, and low sounds.  Perhaps that is God, helping them not hear too much, and take too much of it in.   But, I took it all in. 

I’ve heard it said social events can easily reduce to a series of funerals for that generation…comfort after comfort, grief after grief.  I realize WHY they need to celebrate and travel and enjoy life so often, and I wish them life’s finest in the finale days.  I hope they live it up!  They deserve it.

A precious day. 

When it is just about time for the family to return from the grave-site, return to the church to eat the meal prepared for them, the church phone begins to ring, and it’s like this every time.  Someone says with child-like excitement:  “Oh! I bet that’s him.  He’s calling!  They are almost here!  They’ll be here soon.  It won’t be long now!”

False alarm.

The phone rings again.

“Oh, that is probably them this time.  They are on their way!  Everything is all ready.”  (They’ve been there since 7:30AM, preparing for the noon meal).

It’s a simple, beautiful, giving thing.  They know love.  They know the power of simple pleasures when people are in need.

I heard a story today of my mother-in-law hearing the sick one was craving “greans and cornbread”.  I’ve heard the sick  could only eat about a half bite at a time, wait for a long time, then try another bite.  But, by golly, you know she got her some greans, and she relished every half bit, every ten minutes.  My mother-in-law, in her upper 70s now, was up until midnight last week freezing some greans for winter.  Why in the world?  I thought to myself…and look what God did with that gift of preparation already.  From her own late summer garden.  Not one garden this summer…no, two.  An early one, and a late one.  I’m still getting fresh squash to eat.  Oh, it’s so good!

During the funeral, another said, “They said he probably wouldn’t eat last night when he got in after visitation, he didn’t feel up to it.  But, you know what I did?  I made up a big ‘ole batch of vegetable soup, and do you know they said he ate  two big full soup bowls full?  That hits the spot, a big bowl of fresh vegetable soup.”

“Ah, yes.  Soup always goes good.” friend says.

Sometimes, I think we make things too complicated.  We need to hang out with children and older people.  We forget the power of the simple things. 

My friend, “E” has this gift.  Charm from a different generation.  Makes you want it, doesn’t it?

I was reading a lot this week about funerals already.  First and Second Kings, First and Second Chronicles…tonight Ezra (FINALLY caught up from the weekend).  The people knew the character of the king–you could always tell by where they buried him.  It says it in the last verse regarding him every time.  

Nope, they weren’t swayed or enticed by their fancy-smanshy culturally acceptable tricks, trying to win the pupulace…no “right lighting” was going to make politically correct what they were doing.  You can always tell the life of a King by where they buried him.  If he was a godly king, he could be found in the tombs of king David, his father.  If not so good, he was just “buried with the kings”, or any ole hole his head seemed to fall into. 

This precious lady today?  She was buried in the tombs of the Kings and Queens.  And you know?  She did her “one thing” right.  She valued family.  She was buried in a choice plot…the plot of Queens, with her mother, the Proverbs 31 woman.  Buried with royalty.  I want to be buried next to the  Queens like her.

Back fifteen years ago, just before my wedding, I got a gift.  I didn’t recognize the name.  My husband said, “That’s one of Mom and Dad’s friends.  Good people.” 

I don’t remember the gift.  I remember that she gave.  She didn’t even know me.  I didn’t know her.  But, she loved families, and she gave.  She always had a spirit of kindness.  Her giving and her general spirit made an impression, though we never had a deep conversation to my knowledge.  She always had a smile, too life with grace.  Like a queen.  She had presence.

In the  Bible, when the kings of honor died, the people would sing songs in the streets, even as they mourned and grieved.  They celebrated the lives of godly kings who followed the ways of the Lord and sought after Him.  When these kings ruled, God blessed the land with seasons of rest and peace.  Now, don’t you just think that when these godly women rule their homes, God blesses with rest and peace in those homes?  Yup.  I think so.  And, I want to be one of those kinds of people.  Taking peace and rest with me where I go.

I read today a woman who said, “I want to be Beth Moore when I grow up”.  What an honor to have someone say that of you!  I love Beth Moore dearly, from a distance.  But, you know what?  I want to be friends with these ladies.  I want to be able to take the time to see the need and have the soup, and take the touch of Jesus, and have something to give, and to know just the thing that helps…even if it’s “greens” and a quietness that speaks.   

Godly kings and queens.  Those are my super-idols.   “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control”…queens and kings.  People who capture the heart of God, move the heart of God, intercede for people, have a hand to help, humble themselves, and seek to honor God in all they do, no matter the task.  

Raise up another generation of kings and queens, Lord God.   Keep showing us the way.

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Responses

  1. M — sorry I couldn’t keep up with the reading. Please let me know when you do this again….

  2. I am still behind but only a little. I partially through 2 Chronicles and hope to eventually be totally back on target. 🙂


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