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A week ago I wouldn’t have dreamed that a life could be so quickly reduced to two cardboard boxes sitting on a kitchen floor. But after grandma’s funeral, I found myself pulled up to the remnants of her life now contained within the tidy margins of something barely larger than a banana crate.

My uncles had arrived early to empty her room at the assisted living center; sofa and chairs and tables and bookshelves — all part of her daily landscape, now sent to the thrift center she had served for years. Now they would press into another landscape; lovingly tended and dusted by another set of hands.

Sifting through the remains brought a fresh wave of tears:

A gift I had made for her 80th birthday;

A locket stuffed with tiny pictures;

A coat that still carried her scent;

Her wedding album.

Amidst it all I heard God whisper…”This isn’t the end…”

Friends, I am so grateful that life isn’t merely a collection of photographs and boxes of memories.

I am so grateful that we are not defined by temporal things…things that children and grandchildren are eager to discard. 

I am so grateful that God promises a new life more beautiful than we can imagine; a starting over more perfect than we can conceive in the smallness of our earthly imaginations.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (I Cor 9:15)