I attended the funeral this past week of a lovely woman in our church who had lost the battle with cancer. It was a beautiful memorial service, lots of pictures of the woman with her family, and a poignant sermon on the Throne of Grace that was a central part of this woman's life.
As important as that is, I'm not going to get into that. One thing I noticed at this funeral (and at many other funerals I've attended) was the amount of black clothing worn by the family and friends who were left behind. I admit, when I was getting dressed to go to this funeral, I looked in my closet and started flipping through my darker stuff.
But as I pulled out my black dress, I thought about how thoroughly happy this woman is now, how pain-free, how unburdened from life's cares, how joyous, how radiant, how any-other-adjective-that-describes-perfect-bliss she is, and I thought, this should be a celebration!
I didn't go in a Mardi Gras costume.
But I did choose spring colors - a robin's-egg-blue skirt and a white top, because spring (in my mind, anyway) is a symbol of new life, starting over, entering the pearly gates for the beginning of an eternity with Jesus. It symbolizes hope, freshness, life after a winter of deadness.
I doubt very much that when I walked in to the funeral and sat down on the bench, anyone in that service looked at my outfit and thought, oh, she's dressed herself in a manner symbolizing life. But the meaning was important to me.
So if you ever see me at a funeral, and I'm not wearing the classic blacks or grays, you'll know why. I'm in no way condemning those who choose to do so - it is, after all, a way of showing respect and support for the family of the deceased person - but in my own small way, I suppose I'm celebrating with the person who's finally gone home.