Friday, March 9, 2012

A Flourishing Finish

“The righteous flourish … grow…planted in the house of the LORD … flourish … still bear fruit … declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” 
Portions of Psalm 92:12-15

Early in her treatment for ovarian cancer as Patti was scheduling her chemotherapy and planning an important family event, her doctor encouraged her with these wise words,
“You have cancer; cancer doesn’t have you.”

Those words set Patti free to live out her passions and priorities for the next seven years and to leave us a testimony of a flourishing finish as she exemplified Psalm 92.

Four snapshots of a flourishing finish:

  1. The last time I saw Patti was four months ago at the Navigator National Staff Conference. The hotel kindly created many cozy sit and talk spaces in the wide corridors outside the meeting rooms. Patti often sat on one of those sofas and many—including me—enjoyed a few minutes of conversation with her. I left uplifted and blessed … and I bet the others did too. A flourishing finish means listening to what is going on in the lives of your friends and encouraging them.

  1. The last written communication we received was Ron and Patti’s Christmas letter. It featured their four adult children. There was no mention of their move to California; there new home; their new role with The Navs; or how Patti was doing in her battle with cancer.  Just four pictures of their sons with their wives and their daughter. Patti was so proud of her kids. A flourishing finish means living out your mother’s heart. 

  1. The last electronic communication Patti and I had was via text four days before she met Jesus face to face. A flourishing finish is taking time and harnessing the strength to respond to text message from your friends.

  1. The last snapshot Patti left for me was at her memorial service. This snapshot is really a collage of many beautiful pictures that spoke of Patti’s values. The frame that encased all of these snapshots was a frame of faith—faith in the goodness of God. It was vividly communicated by the lyrics of the songs we sang—that Patti chose—ending with “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.” A flourishing finish means allowing your life to speak faith to your friends even after we no longer hear your voice.

“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish”
Philippians 1:6, The Message

1 comment:

  1. when Sara died last year, I witnessed the first dying of someone whose faith was rock solid – she was actually buried in the T-shirt that said – it's not about me, it's about Jesus – I'm sure her faith had to waiver – but she kept believing – she kept shining His light brighter and brighter until hers was finally burned out. I cried, and cried, and kept on crying after there were no more tears – and the only thing that ended the tears was her memorial service – and thought of her, unable to walk before her death – no longer limited – a child of God – home with her father. Thank you for reminding me of her great faith – it seems to be the faith of your friend as well – may ours be as firm and resolute. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours.