Today we went to the memorial service for Scott's youth minister at the Congregational Church in our town. The church was full to overflowing, and the service was lovely and moving. Howie was a Young Life staffer, and had been in ministry for decades. At one point, his wife asked people to stand in accordance with how they knew Howie: as a family member? As a Young Life leader? As a teacher? As a ministry colleague? It was remarkable thing to see.
As I sat there listening to this man's life being told, I had a lot to think about. I wondered if I lived enough great stories for people to tell about me after I die. I wondered if it was a mistake to never have had children. I wondered if I was doing enough in my ministry that people would be able to say "she taught me about God."
The structure of the service was interesting- it was over two hours long but despite the fact that I was SO hungry throughout, since I had neglected to have lunch, it was thoroughly lovely and inspiring. I had only met Howie a few times, but I know the influence he's had on Scott. During the prayer part of the service, we were invited to turn to God with our thanks for bringing Howie into our lives, and I thanked God for Howie because without his encouragement of Scott to go into ministry, I guessed I never would have met him. How about that? Howie, I'm sure, never thought "hey I made that marriage possible!" He never knew the influence he had on me, a person he'd barely met.
In all, the service made me want to be a better person, a better minister, a better Christian. I want to be the kind of person who has a memorial service that inspires people to be better.