Thursday, November 20, 2008

Practical Atheist

The funeral for my friend, John, was this past Sunday in Liberal, KS. The whole family loaded up on Saturday, with our newly purchased portable DVD player for Chloe, and headed up to the lesser known 'No-Man's Land.' aka Oklahoma Panhandle.

The service was Sunday afternoon. Matt drove around town with the kids while I attended the service. I have been wanting to share what I learned during the funeral, but I am struggling with elegance in my approach to sharing; I can't find the words. So if this is choppy and contains many run-on sentences and possibly makes no sense at times, please try and open your heart to receive what I'm trying to say, not how I say it.

John, was a true Christian.

What do I mean? Well, everything he did represented the body of Christ to the 'nth' degree. Many stories were shared during the funeral of how John had impacted their life. The first young man, I say young he was college age, to speak, was from Turpin. He spoke of when he was a freshman and John was a senior. John was always nice to him. John would spend about 5 minutes just saying hi to this young man. The young man proceeded to say, "Now 5 minutes may me nothing to all of you, BUT what you don't know is that 5 minutes changed my life. John led me to Christ."

I lost it when those words came out of his mouth. Another guy got up there and said, "John, helped me re-dedicate my life to Christ."

As I sat there, tears rolling, I began to feel this nudge. Over the clanking dentures noise from man to my right, I was able to discern God's voice, "Megan do you get it now? Do you feel me pushing you?" It makes me tear up just thinking about it.

See my church,, has been doing a series called Practical Atheist. Go to their website to see what it's about. I'd explain, but this would be too long of a post.

I've been asking myself lately, "Megan have you been a practical atheist?" I've been asking God, "God, am I guilty of this sin? God, I raised my hand to confess b/c I'm sure I'm guilty, but I don't know how."

So I'm sitting, listening and crying. "I HEAR YOU GOD! I GET IT NOW!! I'M GUILTY! I HAVE BEEN A PRACTICAL ATHEIST!!"

John had this unspoken way of challenging you as a Christian.

While sitting there, I could feel John and God challenging every single person sitting there. I felt this need to help pick up where John left off, but it was going to take every person in that church to make up for the loss of the one; John. It's going to take all 3 to 400 people to pick up where John left off.

I realized in that very moment- I am a slacker! I posted recently about needing a challenge. Well, I asked and God responded like clock work. The challenge was there right in front of me. I wasn't seeing it, so God slapped me with it. I felt like God got a lot of people's/ Christian's attention that day in Liberal, KS. "I heard you God."

I wanted to get up to the mic during the 'open mic' time and say, "Sarah just shared the verse, 'iron sharpens iron', and she was absolutely correct in that John did that to us all. I feel like even though John is not here, he is still challenging us to rise up, to step up. I don't know if you feel it, but I do. I know if John were here right now, he'd be hulled up somewhere reading his Bible or he'd be sharing God with someone. John changed a lot of lives in his short 30 years. Have you done and helped as many people as he? I know I haven't."

I left thinking of a sermon my brother-in-law shared. It was titled, "The Dash."

The whole premise behind it was, "What will be your dash?"

On your gravestone is a dash between your birth and death. People will remember what you did during that short 2-3 inches of life. My dash could end tomorrow. Will people file up to the pulpit and say, "Megan led me to Christ. Megan changed my life. Megan loved the Lord so much. Megan made me a better Christian. Megan is wearing a beautiful crown. Megan is (you fill in the blank with the praise of your choice.)"

Well, person after person filed one after another up on the stage to say those things about John. What a legacy he left. What a challenge.

If you die today, will your dash be filled with praise or just "she was a nice person." How will people define you?

This thought has been bouncing back and forth in my hollow brain since Sunday. It has shaken me to the core. So much, I just feel speechless. I feel unworthy, I feel guilty. I have a lot of work to do, if I am going to catch up to John and he was only a little over a year older than me. What a testament he was.

He will be missed. God did a good job creating him. I'm sorry you didn't get to meet him. If you had, your life would be different.

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For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. -Corinthians 5:14