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darknessToday we went to a funeral.  It was a really great funeral, as funerals go.  The woman who died was slightly older than I am.  I met her shortly after we moved to Tyler from Miami, FL.

Over time, her oldest daughter and my second daughter became very close.  Often, my daughter was invited to join their family for weekends and overnights.  They still keep up all these years later.  I know she served as a powerful and positive role model to my daughter…and I’m very thankful for that.

We were in different churches and traveled in different circles in this town.  We didn’t often cross paths, but it didn’t take long to realize that she was a godly woman.  Her life in Christ showed itself in social action in our community.  Her social action didn’t happen at the price of her family…often she took her girls with her when they were young.  I think the reason will be found later in this post.

Marianne loved and served others, starting with her family whom she obviously adored…and moved out from there!  She cared for others both directly and indirectly by serving on benevolent boards and councils and using resources she had available .  Her training was as a social worker.  I’m sure she brought that background to the work she did.

Because she died of cancer and had some warning that death was coming, she was able to discuss with her husband and family what she wanted done at her funeral.  She was very successful in communicating her values and those of her family in the service today.

What were they?  Coming to Christ at a young age was part of it.  Then, she spent a lifetime in GOD’s Word everyday.  This was what gave her, not only the energy and ability to do the volunteer work she did, but also energized her and gave her an amazing optimism and hope that the work could be done!  That is what sets the few apart.  They don’t become discouraged easily.

Worship was also a large part of her life.  Her pastor mentioned that until very recently, even when in pain and obviously ill, she would be there early on Sunday morning for worship with her husband…singing and participating in the worship service with fellow believers.  It was at that point he was moved to the point that he couldn’t talk.  I get that!

Sitting in front of the church today were her husband and four daughters, their husbands and most of her 11 grandchildren. Along with them was a church full of a cross section of people from the community who have been touched by her life as well as many cousins and very dear friends.

The service was full of GOD’s Word read  aloud, favorite hymns and songs, as well as creeds and reminders of what motivated this woman.  Was she serving just to do good?  NO.  She served as an outgrowth of her faith in Christ.

What a wonderful reminder that “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”  Psalm 116:15.

What Scripture was at the bottom of the worship guide?

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Our community was blessed to have Marianne.

Her family has suffered a huge loss.

As we remember her life, we can be challenged to obey GOD and do what He has given us to do with the gifts He has given us…so we can change the world where He has placed us in the ways He wants.

Have you learned to reach out into your community?

Are you passing your outward involvement to your children?