The events of the last week have been surreal with the passing of my father-in-law, Tony. Many of you reading this know that in March of this year he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. Tony never became depressed or discouraged about the cancer. He never complained about “unfairness” or his situation. Cancer did greatly impact his outlook on life, however. I believe he realized the severity of the diagnosis and that his time was limited here on earth. And as Pastor Matt said during Tony’s eulogy, “Tony became a travelling evangelist.” Tony shared his faith with everyone that he came in contact with – doctors, nurses, hospital staff, fellow patients, and even people at the grocery store. He needed to tell everyone of the hope that he had (1 Peter 3:15).
Tony touched many lives, and that fact became even more evident at the funeral home last Wednesday night. Over a thousand family, friends, and loved ones stood in the receiving line – some almost two hours – to pay their respect and give condolences to the family. But amongst the tears, sounds of laughter could be heard as memories of Tony were shared. As I sat there looking over the crowd, 1 Corinthians 15:55 repeated in my mind:
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
Like many others in that room, I share the hope that Tony had. The same hope that he shared with everyone he encountered over the last few months. The hope that comes from a living God and His promises in scripture. The hope that comes from the knowledge that Christ died for me, that He rose again for me, and that I will see Him – and Tony – again one day.
But until that day, I need to live my life like Tony did these past few months, telling every one of the hope that Christ gives. I need to do so with great urgency, because I am not promised tomorrow. Whether I am given another hour, a day, 6 months, or 50 more years I should be a good steward of that time and use it wisely. I need to love those around me enough to share His love with them – meeting needs and sharing Hope with all I encounter. While pondering what I would write in this post, a song came to mind that sums this up nicely. “Live Like That” by Sidewalk Prophets. I want to live my life in such a way that everything I say and do points to Christ, and to do so with reckless abandon, so that the world knows that Christ’s love is true.