“The one you love, you want to be with… She could not wait to be with Jesus.”
Those words from her pastor penetrated my innermost being as I sat in stilled awe during the “going home” celebration for Ginny.
Multiple individuals, male and female from different races and backgrounds, stood up to lovingly bear witness to this Godly soul who freely gave herself for the benefit of others.
Each of them breathed life into these words which I had read a day earlier in her obituary:
She enjoyed a career in real estate that spanned over 30 years. In that time, she formed many relationships that ultimately became her extended family. To say she was a “people person” is an understatement. Her love of people allowed her to freely interact in such a way that she would quickly take on a motherly role . . . even to a stranger. She was always available to lend an ear, say a prayer or offer words of wisdom to someone in need. Ginny will be remembered always by all lives that she touched.
She helped one young woman who had moved here from the Bahamas find a place to live. Fighting back tears, the woman explained that during the process of their search, Ginny assured her, “I’m not going to put you anywhere I would not put my own daughters.”
A man who had been deployed to the battlefield spoke of how Ginny had prayed for him while he was away.
Another young man became quite emotional while recalling a moment when Ginny simply gave him a hug one day at church.
But the overarching theme in each of the tributes was her unashamed love for Christ, because after all – she could not wait to be with Jesus.
Yes, the one you love, you want to be with.
You want to spend time with them.
You want to talk with them.
You seek their advice and guidance and you want to know about them – what pleases them and what does not.
You look out for their best interest, and you would not dare do anything to shame them or to break their heart.
When you love someone with that passion – with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength – all that you are and all that you do, bears witness to the one who has possession of your heart.
The overflow of that love is that you are able to love others – just as Ginny did.
That is how God desires you to love Him.
In fact, when Jesus was asked. “Which is the great commandment in the Law?” He said:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Jesus was solidifying what God had originally said through Moses to His people Israel; His children whom He had fed, raised and taught to walk and talk:
“What does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear Him, to walk in obedience to Him, to love him, to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?”
Then, from His great love and concern, He warned His children to do these things and to never forget Him or His commands:
“…Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied – when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God”
These passages were brought to mind as one of Ginny’s friends revealed something she had once confided to him:
“I am so happy that my daughters still want to spend time with me and still ask for my advice.”
If you have a child and that child never talks to you, never spends time with you – and if they do, it’s more out of obligation – if they never seek your advice or look to you for guidance – Would that not hurt you? Would that not break your heart?
In the same way, we break the heart of God when we say, “I love Jesus!… I am a Christian!” – Yet never read our bibles, never pray, never spend time with the Lord and never seek his counsel. We go to church out of obligation, like the relatives you visit a couple times a year on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter.
We essentially say, “I am part of the family of God” but it is in name only – for we don’t really know God because our hearts are far from Him.
God opened my eyes in the midst of Ginny’s celebration and allowed me to see that I stand guilty of this.
In my relationships with Jesus, with my wife, my parents, family, friends and my brothers and sisters in Christ, I can often say, “I love you” but the distance which I sometimes keep can contradict my proclamation.
I thank God that He is a loving Father, and for the family and friends which He has given me in this life.
I thank Him for discipline and instruction, and for showing me the truth when my heart has turned away from Him to self-focus, and I thank Him for His grace and mercy to call me back again.
I thank God that I was there for Ginny’s going home celebration to witness the testimonies of a life surrendered to Christ, not out of obligation, but out of love.
You can count me as one more person touched by Ginny’s life, and I pray that when the day of my “going home” comes, that the work which God has completed in me will compel someone to say:
“He could not wait to be with Jesus!”
Repent Believe Persevere