The small town where I live is ready for a new month. A new start. For a town of 1,000 there have been a lot of funerals these past few months.
We’re tired of crying.
Tired of sadness.
Tired of hearing the bell toll for someone who has died.
Tired of watching our loved ones grieve.
We’re all ready to not attend another funeral for a while.
But despite our sadness and grief, there’s beauty found in funerals.
There’s hope in hearing the promise of resurrection.
There’s joy in hearing about the lives of God’s people.
There’s healing in sharing stories.
And perhaps most importantly there’s the power in showing up.
In reaching out to grieving families.
In bringing food.
In shaking hands.
In offering hugs.
In singing hymns when the words don’t come.
In letting the silence wash over us.
In lifting up prayers.
We show up over and over again because that’s what we’re called to do. As people of faith, followers of Jesus, showing up can be enough. Enough to bring the light and love of Jesus into the lives of those hurting. Enough to show that we care.
Living across the street from the church I get the privilege of seeing how many people take the time to pause and give thanks for the life of someone who has died. How many people know the power of being present.
Losing a loved one changes us and forever alters how we live in the world. But in the midst of our grieving we do go on. We continue to live. We honor those who have died by living and serving and loving – as a reflection of the faith they have shown us. And we remember who shows up. We remember God’s love through the presence of the community. We remember the light of Christ from those who shone that light for us. By showing up. Over and over again.
Because showing up proclaims that death does not have the final word.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. Her website is http://www.kimberlyknowlezeller.com