The Funeral Bow
Ephesians 4:24 “And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” ESV
The definition of a true friend is someone who loves you through thick and thin, is your personal prayer warrior, and will say what needs to be said, no holds barred! (In total Christian love of course, and with a side of, “Bless your heart!”) Everyone needs such a friend and our family has been blessed with one.
Several years ago, our family lost a brother to addiction. Our friend was there through every moment of this tragedy and my family leaned on her like no other. Almost a year after my brother’s death, our friend stopped by my house, where, just inside the entry-way sat a large plant given to me at my brother’s funeral. The beautiful ceramic pot holding the plant still showcased the enormous white funeral-bow left intact, just as it was delivered from the florist one year ago. Being the open and honest friend that I love her to be, she pointed to the plant and said, “I’m going to tell you this because I love you. That bow screams, ‘Funeral.’ You need to take it off.”
So, without hesitation, I went over and removed the bow, realizing for the first time that, indeed, the bow “screamed” funeral. As I thought about it, I recalled the numerous guests in our home who had commented on my “funeral plant,” but it had never dawned on me how they could assume it was from a funeral. But, my friend was right. Without saying a word, the bow announced to all the plants origin.
Our actions are no different than that big, white funeral bow. They “shout out” our origin. Ephesians 4 tells us our origin is of God. In fact, we are children of God, His direct descendants. And if we have the DNA of God, His righteousness and holiness should be announced to the world through us.
But, is the DNA of God always seen in us? Think about standing in that slow check-out line. Without realizing how loudly our actions speak, we begin those deep chest-sighs, eye rolls, and straining on tip-toes to look up, over, and around everyone in line. Without saying a word, we glare at the elderly couple struggling to retrieve their cash from their wallet. Our behavior shouts to everyone around, “Hurry Up! I’m more important than you!” Is the DNA of our Father God being seen through this check-out line rudeness?
Have you ever been in the bleachers at your child’s ballgame when the ump makes a ridiculous call? All sorts of creative suggestions can be shouted and a myriad of hand and arm gestures offered. Do we really expect our children to visualize God’s righteousness and holiness living in us between the breaths of these insults?
Circling a crowded parking lot looking for a parking spot when someone whips in front of us renders us immediately angry and laying on the horn. Is it possible for others to hear the righteousness of God in that way-too-long blast of our car-horn?
Each day offers opportunities for us to introduce to the world a righteous and holy God. And when we meet those opportunities with the DNA of God, our actions shout to the world (like a funeral bow) the glory of our loving Father.
Father God, help us to meet each opportunity in a manner that shows your righteousness and holiness. Forgive us when we fail.