Last week I went to a memorial service of a friend I had known since childhood. She died too young, only a year older than me, and suddenly. And a few days ago I learned that another person from my childhood past, the brother of a dear friend, also just died, also too young, a year younger than me, and suddenly. Writing and delivering a meditation for a funeral or memorial service must be hard enough for any minister but all the harder when the person who died had so much life still ahead. The meditation at the memorial service I attended was spot on, with the spot being that sweet spot where grief meets hope meets how-then-should-we-live encouragement. Teach me, the minister recited from the Psalms, the minister who was choked up herself, the minster who was also saying goodbye to a best friend. "Teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom." The need for mindfulness about our days that have a limit, she said – but more than that. The need for wisdom, she said – but more than that too. Teach me. The need – the plea – to be taught by the Lord God who loves us.
[Photo: taken in a friend's garden.]