It’s 2am and a thunderstorm waters the trees and grass all around our house. The cycle of life and death continues, as it has for thousands of years. In 1971, I was born, she was born in 1972. We grew up, far from one another, experiencing the same things our entire cohort did. We enjoyed family, friends, and life. Both of us had our share of troubles and trials. Then, our lives intertwined for just 22 years, 4 months. At that point her earthly life ended.
Jana was important to so many people, and many found her life to be incredibly significant. I am probably at the top of that list. In marriage, we pledged everything to one another. Describing her as significant, for me, is an understatement. Arguably, I will be the one to make the case for her earthly significance longer than any other.
What if I get past my grief? That is the goal. What if I find the other side of grief, will her life continue to have my support for being significant? Is it up to me to capture her significance for everyone else to see? Or, does her life stand on it’s own as a life lived for eternal purposes and one that was lived in pursuit of Jesus? Are any of our earthly lives that significant? Beyond the small ripple we make in this splash we call life, years from now who will be considered significant and what was the contribution?
Jana will be remembered for years to come, especially in our family tree. Great-grandchildren, great-great nieces and nephews, and others along the line will all know her name, and maybe a few important things regarding her life. But, just like all of us, if you get too many generations away…we become little more than a name in the family lineage.
“Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
God sees us as significant! Our earthly lives are short, the Bible says life is like a mist; here one second and in the next moment it’s gone. Time marches on, nothing stays the same… It is so important for me to know that Jana’s life is not “significant” because I carry her banner. My cheerleading for her is a pale substitute for God’s loving care! And, God’s care is eternal. Throughout her life, it was God who cared for her the most, not me. I did my best, I fulfilled my vows, and now I plant my flag and announce that Jana was special and significant in an earthly sense, but through the work of the Holy Spirit and God’s love for her, she also has eternal significance!