It was a big day nonetheless. Graduating from seminary, I enjoyed family and friends here to celebrate, and so many more cheering me on from afar. I felt loved, valued, appreciated, seen, and heard! Gifts and well wishes rained down from Mamas in FreedHearts Moms, my secret online support group. I received many more wishes from so many friends online—even the many I haven’t met in person but who have expressed their love and appreciation. I felt that my life mattered and people recognized the work I do that is so often behind a computer screen or on a cell phone! My heart was filled to overflowing for life and the beloved who are in it. I was deeply humbled. And my aunt told me I looked very happy. I was indeed!
And it was not my funeral.
We love to give accolades to people after they die. We gather together and say how much we love them, what a difference they made, the good they did in the world… and they are not there to hear it.
Having stood graveside for too many family members, I always felt sad that the person couldn’t hear all this love being expressed. These posthumous accolades are wonderful, of course, and they help the survivors express their hearts. But how nice it is when the person being commended is actually still alive to hear it!
Flowers for the living, I call it.
Sure, we pile up flowers in the funeral home, and they are an expression of a bereaved heart. But how beautiful it is to give these flowers, these expressions of our love for those around us, while those we love are still living. To shower them with love now, while they are here, alive to enjoy it.
That. Gives. Life.
James Taylor said, “Shower the people you love with love.”
Paul said, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
And Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Please. Love freely. Love fully. Love well.
Give your flowers to the living.
It’s the primary job we’ve been given.
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