Page 196 was a stretched out day that seemed like it would never end. Given that I’m writing this page an hour after the technical end of day 196 of this year, perhaps the day really didn’t want to end. 🙂 The day followed a continual wrestling with what God would have me do today to serve and minister and also what He would have me share tomorrow. Once I made it up this morning, I headed down to Plymouth to spend time praying and listening in the auditorium where the funeral visitation and service would be held. I made it to the church around 9:30 and spent the rest of the morning praying and listening to God leading up to the family’s arrival at 2:00. Part of the time was prayer-walking the auditorium and praying at each pew for the people who would be seated there. I spent time on the platform praying about the words God would want me to share and praying for the others that will have a part in Friday’s service. I knew it was going to be a long day filled with a wide variety of people and emotions as I prayed for my brother and his family.
Once the visitation began, I spent the day praying and looking for opportunities to comfort and connect with individuals. Occasionally, I would notice something, hear something, or be nudged by God’s Spirit about something to write down in the notebook I carried. By early evening, a clearer plan was coming together for both the order of the funeral service and what I should say at it. The people were lined up all afternoon and evening with an estimated 1600+ people coming through to pay their respects and say “so long”. After covering the “clarified” service order with the family and getting their approval, I finally headed home around 10:00 PM. When I got home, I fixed something to eat, checked messages, and then settled down to write today’s page. As I thought about a photo to be a part of page 196, I chose this bird that I took yesterday. He was a tiny thing but was noticeable everywhere he went. His coloring and his song not only made him attractive, they made him almost impossible to hide.
This picture reminded me of my niece and the way she lived her faith out loud for everyone to see and hear. She was so captured by God’s love in her life that there was nothing that seemed able to keep her faith from being noticed by the people around her. When the Bible refers to Christians as peculiar people, God is not specifically talking about being weird. He refers to us as a peculiar people because we ought to be different and stand out from the world in which we live. Breanna lived a full life in the world but she lived it in a way that the world would likely call peculiar. God’s desire for each of us is that we would live for Christ in a way that our light shines for Jesus and people glorify God because of our good works.
I pray that you and I would not be satisfied with the stats quo, but that we would seek to live our faith out loud for everyone to see. I pray that we would look around us to see how we can be a comfort to those who mourn. I pray that we would lift up Jesus in everything we say and do.