Fifteen years ago I had one of the most surreal moments of my life.  It happened because a friend of mine had died of a brain aneurysm the week before.  We played basketball together on a Friday.  He was gone early the next week.  His name was Kevin.

There were hundreds of stunned people sitting in the crowd at his funeral, anxiously waiting to see what would be shared.  Then a memorial photo slideshow played, with an old Pine Cove CD playing in the background.  I had sung lead vocal on that CD.

Kevin had worked at Pine Cove, just like I had.  God had shaped his life and his ministry through various people over the years at camp.  Needless to say, at this funeral were scores of pictures of college staff that had worked alongside him that summer.

So there I sat, listening to my voice sing worship songs over people, watching a photo slideshow of a Pine Cove staff person, reading and hearing about a guy named Kevin that people so dearly loved.

Surreal.

Some of our biggest lessons learned come from stopping, thinking and reflecting.  Stopping. Thinking.  Reflecting.  A pastor friend of mine said he loved speaking at weddings and funerals because peoples’ heart were tender.  I believe it.

(If you can’t see the video above, click here to watch it.)

Kristi’s Story:

The slide show above is about a girl named Kristi.  It is her memorial video they made to show at her funeral.  I don’t know her, but her life has inspired me.  She and her husband, Justin, had two adopted boys.  They were very active in Young Life, sharing the love of Jesus with high school students.

After a battle with some medical illnesses, she passed away just a couple of weeks ago on August 12, 2012.

Her slideshow hit very close to home for some reason.  I don’t know if it’s because of the joy in her smile that reminded me of my wife’s, or because of the ages of her boys.  There is something about being reminded that life on earth ends at some point that gets my attention.

Please pray for Justin and their two boys.  The transition they have been going through is extremely difficult.

Elizabeth’s Story:

I heard recently of another tragedy.  It was of a young mother involved in a car accident.  She, her sons, and her unborn baby all died in the wreck one morning just a few weeks ago.  Her husband wasn’t with them at the time of the accident.

Since the day I heard about this, I have prayed for the surviving husband and their families many times.  I can’t imagine the pain, the feelings of loss, or just the dramatic shift in his life.

The mom, Elizabeth, was a Godly woman.  She loved her husband and her kids in a way that expressed the love of her Father.

Please pray for her husband, Samuel.  I am beyond words when I think about where his heart has been over the past month.

Final Thoughts:

When I saw this memorial video my mind raced.  What does the future hold for my family?  How many days do I have left on this earth with them?  Will I have any regrets when they are gone?

We can get so caught up in the day to day that we forget we are spiritual people.  Instead, we live lives distracted, focusing on the things that won’t last.

Are you fulfilling God’s calling on your life?  Are you being the mother or father you earnestly want to be?  How are you loving your kids?  How are you loving your spouse?  How are you expressing the love of your Father to this lost and hurting world?

I’d encourage you to watch the memorial video above and let your heart reflect.

"Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow” (Psalms 144:4).