It wasn’t that long ago that I thought Ted and I were living a good life. We were good people. We didn’t break the law or hurt other people. We had a decent marriage and a beautiful baby girl. Good friends to spend time with. Middle class, keeping up with the Jones’, going with the motions of the everyday. Ted wasn’t a Christian. I was somewhere between having accepted my salvation and not truly living in the freedom I had been given.
Nick was right when he said that good people are the hardest to reach. If you would have asked me then if I though I needed to live a “better” life, I probably would have thought you were silly. Ted would have been insulted and listed off the myriad of accomplishments that make him a wonderful provider. We were very intentional in our goodness. Making sure our families and friends knew we were living right.
Just a few short months after Madi had celebrated her second birthday, there was a terrible accident in Ted’s family. His cousin lost her little girl in a terrible accident. She was on life support for a few days as the family had to decide the best care for her. She passed away on Christmas day, about 3 months before her 4th birthday.
K’s death hit me like a ton of bricks. We use to take our girls to tea together. Being a young mother myself I just wanted to hold Madi that much closer and protect her from everything. Some things in this life don’t have explanations. Some things happen for reasons we don’t understand. It was difficult to comfort J. I felt even worse bringing Madi with me as a reminder of what was missing in her life.
I have been to a few memorial services in my life but I have never, even to this day, seen anything like little K’s funeral. There were so many people that the large Lutheran church was full out to the foyer. People that all knew K. It was amazing. Everyone shared stories of her life, of her joy. Ted and I were sitting towards the back and watching how everyone was interacting and comforting J and her family. This was their home church. Their family. Closer to them than Ted and I were.
One person after another spoke about how K had done something to bring them joy. They talked about her faith. They shared her struggles. A young lady from her dance class came and performed K’s favorite dance, to her favorite song. In a room that should have truly been filled with sorrow, there was a light. People just seemed to know that K was an amazing little girl and had changed peoples lives.
She changed my life that day. After seeing what God could do in a few short years of a child life, I wondered what He could do with mine. There had to be more to the everyday “goodness” I was living because I wasn’t doing anything to change anything. I had no purpose to my goodness other then to (let me be honest here) be better than everyone else.
We started taking an Introduction to Christianity class at a local church and ended up with some serious reevaluating to do. I realized that God didn’t see me and all my goodness any different then he saw the thief at the local jail. All of my good works were going to get me nothing.
Learning to live right for the right reasons. It is a hard lesson to swallow. Especially when you think you already have the good life figured out.
Luke 6: 42-45 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.
“For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
Pomegranate Goodness (Family Challenge)
On Sunday, Nick talked about how healthy fruit bears seeds so that the plant can reproduce. One of the greatest seed bearing fruits is the Pomegranate. An average fruit has over 600 seeds in it. It is also the only part of the Pomegranate that most people eat.
Okay, so go to the store and get yourself a Pomegranate. It makes a great visual. Talk to your family about how the good fruit from one good tree can produce up to 600 more good trees. Talk about ways that each of those “good” seeds can be planted. Be sure to talk to your children about the source of their Goodness, our Savior Jesus. He is the only source of food, light and living water for our fruit.