My wife’s grandma, Vera Lamb, died recently at the venerable age of 89. The funeral, held last week on a rainy morning in rural Minnesota, celebrated the life of a woman who had raised nine children, lost an infant daughter, and lived to see multiple grandchildren each have multiple children of their own.
That’s a life.
Vera Lamb won’t go down in history as a great woman — at least not the history that gets dedicated Wikipedia pages and crammed over by procrastinating students. When you think about it, that’s not the kind of history that really matters, anyway. The history that really matters is the history written on the lives of ordinary people. As Jim wrote yesterday, “News (and therefore history) is always, always about people.”
I would argue that Vera was a great woman, indeed. What made her great? That she had a purpose, that she knew that purpose, and that she lived out that purpose with fantastic results. Her life as a mother, wife, friend and disciple of Jesus Christ mattered because living out those roles made an eternal personal difference in the lives of dozens — and by extrapolation, thousands — of human beings, all of whom were created in God’s image with divinely orchestrated work to do.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Vera walked that walk. Her husband knew it. Her children and grandchildren knew it (and testified to it last week). She lived her purpose to the full and was celebrated for it when it came time to bid her farewell.
And really, what more is there?