My good friend, Dr. Linfield Crowder, was honored, memorialized, eulogized, and laid to rest on Thursday. It is true, men of his ilk are of the highest and most noble integrity and character.
What seed was deposited in my heart at the grand occasion of Linfield’s funeral?
1. Everyone dies. Somehow we tend to think that we will live, in the natural body, a whole lot longer than we will. Linfield lived 80 wonderful years, but even with the grandness of heaven, I am sure he would have enjoyed another 15 healthy years. Everyone dies, so be ready.
2. Life is mostly about people. Love people. Be interested in people. Every kind of person is an opportunity to give God’s love. Love till people think you are unbalanced. Love like you have never been jilted. God is love.
3. Life is mostly about people because Jesus became a people, and is making a people out of disconnected human beings, and eternity is comprised, in part, of this new people.
4. Funerals are important. It isn’t a party. It isn’t a celebration of life. It is a funeral. The deceased is dead. Linfield planned his own funeral. He selected the texts, the speakers, the soloists, the songs, the poems, and virtually every thing else related to the occasion. Doc knows that the funeral is Christianity’s most powerful opportunity to declare Truth. Jesus alone conquered death and only in Him will you pass from death unto life. You don’t pass from celebration of life unto life. You pass from death unto life.
5. A healthy and loving family is a blessing. WOW! I had the best time watching Linfield’s daughters, sons in law, sisters, grand children, extended family, and his much beloved wife, Nellie Blue, honor him. These family members totally loved him. He was a hit at home! And that is worth more than all the wealth of the cosmos.
6. Funerals become celebrations of life only when the life being celebrated is aligned with the nature and image of God. As mentioned earlier, the deceased is dead. The only celebration in death is the defeat of death by our Lord. So, Linfield’s funeral became a celebration because of the ministry of Jesus. Is it possible that much damage is done when people celebrate a life that is, in fact, dead in trespasses and sin? If you are dead both now and forevermore, don’t party. Eternal separation from God is the most indescribable, totally beyond words, reality. Dr. Crowder died “in the Lord.” Death is temporary for him. Life is eternal. For many people, life is temporary and death is eternal.
7. The living must continue to live. There was only one deceased guy at the funeral. That’s right. Only Dr. Crowder was gone. Everyone else there has at least one more breath to maximize. Is your life’s front windshield dwarfed by the size of your rear-view mirror? I will miss Doc yet I must get on with living the life God has still animated within. With every breath I must look in the mirror to see what we were and into the front windshield to see what we are becoming.