This evening, up in Calgary, there will be a memorial service to celebrate the life of Connor. Connor's color was orange, and so Geraldine has asked that those attending wear something orange. Their church is not all that big, so I'm not sure how they'll fit all of those I know will attend. How I wish I could be there, in that sea of orange, celebrating the impact one little boy had on so many lives.
Geraldine often said that God did not allow Connor to be their son because Connor needed them, but because they needed Connor. Needed him to help them see what was important.
Finding joy in the small things? Important. Taking opportunities to show love? Important. Living each day fully because they weren't sure of tomorrow? Important. Finding strength in God to face another day? Very important.
Spilled stuff on the floor, not getting everything on the to-do list done? Not so important.
I look at how I live my life - just this week! - and see that I often spend my time fretting about unimportant things. Is sticking to my schedule really as important as stopping to hug one of the kids of El Callejon? Is my to-do list really as essential as I make it? Am I missing the truly important things because of my need to forge on ahead in my own strength?
Today Geraldine's family and friends will also be celebrating the hope of the resurrection. Celebrating the fact that though Connor's body and mind here were broken, he is now whole and living in perfect peace and freedom.
We claim that promise for him, for us. That our time of pain and confusion will one day be transformed into complete joy. Don't get me wrong - there are times of happiness here, too, but always tinged by a longing for something more. Something, SomeONE more.
Today I will wear orange down here in the DR. I will celebrate in this place. I will try to take my grief, my longing for something more, and use it to show Jesus to the people of El Callejon. Try to help them see that there is hope, because there is Someone who loves them and desires to live in them and through them.
I hope that you, too, will celebrate. Even if you did not know Connor, that you will celebrate the hope we have in Christ. That one day all our tears will be wiped away. That we, too, will live in perfect peace and joy. I hope that you, too, will seek to live the important stuff - loving Jesus and loving others. That will be a true celebration!