If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. – Romans 14:8
This weekend it was the simple and beautiful story of a mother and wife who had loved her family deeply and lived her faith with grace and eloquence before passing away in her mid-seventies when her generous heart gave out.
I have written about several end-of-life stories recently. The last three (a young-adult, a teen, and a young mother) were all deeply tragic. But this passing, while still reflecting the overwhelming sadness and pain of a separation both unexpected and too soon, held a sense of cumulative gratitude that outshone the loss. The faithful witness of her life defined what it means to follow Jesus in the context of raising a family and commitment to a community of faith.
So I want to jump back to a phrase I used, “Her well-used heart gave out.”
I love the idea that conjures, the notion that we could love at capacity for the duration of our lives until we simply wore our hearts out. Of course the beauty of love is that it is replenishable, and always in more abundant supply when we generously give it away. But I still appreciate the idea, and I am grateful to Pam Jones for the eloquence of her witness to generous love, especially as I see it working out via her daughters – the Christie Sharpe and the Melinda Keen families here at our church.
Peace, and blessings, and the sure promise that is ours in Jesus – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.